Beclometasone nasal spray

About beclometasone nasal spray

Beclometasone nasal (nose) spray is used to treat cold-like symptoms caused by allergic rhinitis. This is an inflammation of the inside of your nose that can be brought on by hay fever.

Beclometasone (sometimes written as "beclomethasone") is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid (or steroid). Corticosteroids are a copy of a substance the body makes naturally. They are not the same as anabolic steroids.

Beclometasone nasal spray is available on prescription for adults and children. Adults can buy it from pharmacies and supermarkets.

Beclometasone also comes as:

Key facts

Who can and cannot use beclometasone nasal spray

Most adults and children over the age of 6 years can use beclometasone nasal spray.

Beclometasone is not suitable for some people. To make sure this nasal spray is safe for you, tell your doctor if you:

How and when to use it

Will my dose go up or down?

Beclometasone nasal spray needs to be used regularly for it to work.

You'll generally use the spray twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. The usual dose is 1 or 2 sprays into each nostril.

Follow the instructions that come with your medicine. Do not use more than 4 sprays per nostril in 24 hours.

If you're using a new bottle, it may not work first time. Pump the spray a few times until a fine mist comes out. You'll also need to do this if you have not used the bottle for a few days.

Remove the cap and gently shake the bottle.

  1. Blow your nose gently.
  2. Close 1 nostril by pressing your finger against the side of your nose.
  3. Bend your head forward slightly and carefully put the nozzle into your other nostril.
  4. Slowly breathe in through your nose and with your fingers press down on the widest part of the nozzle to squirt the spray once into your nostril.
  5. Breathe out through your mouth.
  6. Follow steps 3 and 4 again to squirt a second spray into the same nostril if you need it.

Repeat the process with the other nostril, if you need it.

After using your spray, wipe the nozzle with a clean tissue and replace the cap.

Once your symptoms are under control, you can use your nasal spray less often. For example, you might go from using 2 sprays twice a day, to 1 spray twice a day.

If you bought a beclometasone nasal spray from a pharmacy, stop using it when you think you no longer need it. Ask your pharmacist for advice if you're not sure when to stop. Do not use it continuously for more than 1 month without speaking to your doctor.

If your symptoms get worse after reducing your dose, you may want to increase it again.

If you have beclometasone nasal spray on prescription, your doctor will tell you how often to use the nasal spray and when to change your dose.

What if I forget to use it?

If you forget to use your spray, use it as soon as you remember. Unless it's almost time for your next dose, in which case skip the missed dose and take your next one as usual.

Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten one.

If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine.

What if I use too much?

Using too much beclometasone nasal spray by accident is unlikely to harm you.

Side effects

Common side effects

Like all medicines, beclometasone can cause side effects although not everyone gets them.

With beclometasone nasal spray, very little medicine is absorbed into the rest of the body, so it's not likely to give you side effects.

If your doctor has prescribed high doses of beclometasone, or you’re also taking other steroid medicines or tablets for fungal infections or HIV, you may get underactive adrenal glands as a side effect. Ask your doctor if you need to carry a red steroid emergency card.

These common side effects can happen in more than 1 in 100 people.

Keep taking the medicine but talk to your doctor if these side effects bother you or do not go away:

Serious side effects

Very few people have serious side effects when using beclometasone nasal spray.

You are more likely to have a serious side effect if you use beclometasone for more than a few months or take a high dose.

Tell a doctor straight away if you get:

Serious allergic reaction

It happens rarely but it is possible to have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to beclometasone.

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

  • you get a skin rash that may include itchy, red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • you're wheezing
  • you get tightness in the chest or throat
  • you have trouble breathing or talking
  • your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat start swelling

You could be having a serious allergic reaction and may need immediate treatment in hospital.

These are not all the side effects of beclometasone. For a full list see the leaflet inside your medicines packet.

You can report any suspected side effect to the UK safety scheme.

How to cope with side effects

What to do about:

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Beclometasone and pregnancy

Beclometasone nasal spray is safe to use during pregnancy. Very little of the medicine gets into your bloodstream and almost none gets to your baby. Even if a small amount does get to your baby, it will not harm them.

For more information about how using a steroid nasal spray might affect you and your baby during pregnancy, read this leaflet on treating allergic rhinitis on the Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPs) website.

Beclometasone and breastfeeding

It's OK to use beclometasone nasal spray while breastfeeding.

When beclometasone is used as a nasal spray, tiny amounts are likely to be in breast milk. It is very unlikely to cause any side effects in your baby.

If you notice that your baby is not feeding as well as usual, or if you have any other concerns about your baby, talk to your health visitor, midwife or doctor as soon as possible.

Talk to your doctor if you're:

  • trying to get pregnant
  • pregnant
  • breastfeeding

Cautions with other medicines

Mixing beclometasone with herbal remedies or supplements

Some medicines and beclometasone interfere with each other and this can increase your chance of side effects. It may mean you need to change your dose of beclometasone.

Check with a pharmacist or your doctor if you're taking:

There's very little information about taking herbal remedies and supplements while taking or using beclometasone. Ask a pharmacist for advice.

Important

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking any other medicines, including herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements.

Common questions

How does beclometasone work? How long does it take to work? How long will I use it for? Is it safe to use beclometasone for a long time? Do I need a steroid card? Will it affect my fertility? Can I drink alcohol with it? Will it affect my contraception? Can I drive or ride a bike with it?