Beconase Hayfever Relief for Adults - 100 Sprays
How does it work?
Beconase hayfever nasal spray contains the active ingredient beclometasone dipropionate (previously spelt beclomethasone in the UK), which is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid (or steroid). Corticosteroids are hormones that are produced naturally by the adrenal glands and have many important functions, including control of inflammatory responses.
Beclometasone is a synthetic corticosteroid and is used as a nasal spray to decrease inflammation in the nasal passages. (NB. Beclometasone nasal spray is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.)
People who suffer from nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis) such as hayfever tend to experience a variety of symptoms as a result of their allergy. These include a runny, itchy or blocked nose, sneezing and sinus discomfort. These symptoms are a result of inflammation in the nasal passages.
The nasal inflammation occurs when the nasal passages are exposed to foreign particles (allergens), for example, pollen, dust mites or pet fur. The allergens cause the cells in the nose to release chemicals that produce immune and allergic responses. These result in inflammation in the nasal passages and the symptoms of the allergy.
When administered into the nose, beclometasone is absorbed into the cells of the nasal passages. Here it works by preventing the cells from releasing the chemicals that trigger the allergic response. This stops the allergic reaction from happening so the nasal inflammation is reduced and the symptoms relieved.
The nasal spray will not relieve the symptoms of nasal allergies immediately, and can take two to three days to have its full effect. It is therefore most effective to start using the nasal spray two to three days before you expect to get symptoms, for example before the start of the pollen season, or if you know you are going to be in contact with pets that give you the allergy. For maximum benefit the spray should then be used regularly to keep the nasal inflammation under control.
What is it used for?
- Treatment and prevention of nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis), including hayfever, pet allergies and dust mite allergies, in adults aged 18 years and over.
Beclometasone nasal spray can also be bought from general retail outlets such as supermarkets (as Beconase hayfever relief for adults nasal spray), but this more widely available product is only licensed specifically for the treatment of hayfever (seasonal allergic rhinitis). Beclometasone nasal spray can also be prescribed by your doctor for these and other uses. See the factsheets linked at the end of this page for further information.
- This medicine is only intended for use in the nose and must not be taken by mouth.
- It is important to shake the bottle gently before each use.
- The spray should be primed before you use it for the first time. Do this by spraying it into the air away from you a few times until a fine mist is produced. If you don't use the spray for longer than a few days then you will need to reprime it before using it again, by spraying it into the air as before.
- The plastic nozzle of your nasal spray should be cleaned at least once a week, or more frequently if the spray doesn't work because it has become blocked. Follow the printed instructions supplied with the spray. Never try to unblock the nozzle or enlarge the tiny spray hole with a pin or other sharp object, because this will destroy the spray mechanism.
- Any remaining spray must be discarded three months after you first open the bottle, because it may be contaminated with dirt or bacteria. Do not transfer any remaining suspension to another bottle. You may find it helpful to write the date of first opening on the bottle so you know when to throw it away. Dispose of carefully, preferably by returning it to a pharmacy.
- If you think you have developed a nose or throat infection while using this medicine you should consult your doctor. You may need to stop using this medicine temporarily while the infection is treated.
- If your symptoms have not improved after 14 days of using this medicine you should seek medical advice from your pharmacist or doctor.
- This medicine should not be used continuously for longer than three months without consulting your doctor.
- When taken in high doses for long periods of time, corticosteroids have the potential to cause glaucoma, cataracts, thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), slowed growth in children and adolescents, and to decrease the functioning of the adrenal glands (glands that produce natural steroid hormones). These side effects on other areas of the body are called systemic side effects and are extremely unlikely to occur with this nasal spray, because the amount of beclometasone absorbed into the bloodstream from the nose is very low. However, as a precaution, you should use the lowest effective dose needed to control your symptoms. Do not exceed the recommended dose.
Use with caution in
- People who have recently had nasal septal ulcers, nasal surgery or nasal injuries. (This medicine should be avoided until after the nose has healed).
- People with infections in the nose or sinuses. (The infection should be treated).
Not to be used in
- This medicine should be avoided in people with tuberculosis affecting the lungs.
- This medicine is not recommended for children or adolescents under 18 years of age unless prescribed by a doctor.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- If you are pregnant it is important to seek medical advice from your doctor before using this medicine. This medicine should be used with caution during pregnancy, and only if the expected benefit to the mother is greater than any possible risk to the developing baby.
- This medicine may pass into breast milk, although after application into the nose the amount that passes into breast milk is probably too small to be harmful to a nursing infant. It is important to seek further medical advice from your doctor before using this medicine if you are breastfeeding.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Nosebleeds (epistaxis).
- Dryness and irritation of the nose and throat.
- Unpleasant taste or smell.
- Allergic reactions such as rash, itching or swelling of lips, face or tongue (angioedema).
- Perforation of the nasal septum (rare).
- Raised pressure inside the eye or glaucoma (rare).
- Cataracts (rare).
- Side effects similar to those associated with corticosteroids taken by mouth may occur if this medicine is absorbed into the bloodstream. This is unlikely unless the medicine is used at high doses for prolonged periods of time. See the warning section above for more details.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
If you are taking any other medicines, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, you should check with your pharmacist before you start treatment with this medicine. This is particularly important if you are or have recently been using any other medicines that contain corticosteroids, for example tablets, injections, eye or nose drops, creams, asthma inhalers, or other similar nasal sprays. Likewise, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new medicines while you are using this one.
Other medicines containing the same active ingredient
- Beconase aqeuous nasal spray
- Nasobec aqeuous nasal spray
- Vivabec nasal spray