Beclometasone (Nasobec hayfever nasal spray)
How does it work?
Nasobec hayfever nasal spray contains the active ingredient beclometasone dipropionate, 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. 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 hay fever 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.
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 a few 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 while you are still being exposed to the allergen to keep the nasal inflammation under control.
What is it used for?
- Preventing and treating symptoms of nasal allergies such as hay fever, pet allergies or dust mite allergies in adults aged 18 years and over.
Beclometasone nasal spray can also be bought from general retail outlets such as supermarkets, but these more widely available products are only licensed specifically for the treatment of hay fever (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.
How do I use it?
- You should preferably start using this nasal spray a few days before you expect to come into contact with the allergen and continue using it regularly all the time you are still exposed to the thing you are allergic to.
- Follow the instructions provided with the nasal spray. You should shake the bottle gently before use.
- Before you use the nasal spray for the first time it needs to be primed by pumping it into the air a few times until a fine mist is produced. Hold the bottle upright and away from you while you are doing this. If the nasal spray hasn't been used for a few days you should reprime it in this way before using it again.
- Follow this link for general instructions on how to use a nasal spray.
- Adults aged 18 years and over should use two sprays into each nostril twice a day (morning and evening). Once your symptoms are under control you should reduce your dose to one spray in each nostril twice a day. You should always use the lowest dose necessary to relieve your symptoms. Do not use more than the recommended dose.
- If you forget to use your nasal spray just leave out the forgotten dose. Don't use a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
- If your symptoms have not improved after 14 days of using this medicine you should get medical advice from your pharmacist or doctor.
- If your symptoms improve while using this medicine you can keep using it for as long are you are exposed to the allergen, however you should not use it continuously for longer than three months without consulting a doctor.
- This medicine is only intended for use in the nose and must not be taken by mouth.
- Take care to avoid getting the spray in the eyes.
- 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 break 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. 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.
- When taken in high doses for long periods of time, corticosteroids have the potential to cause glaucoma, cataracts, 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 always use the lowest effective dose needed to control your symptoms. You should not exceed the recommended dose, or use this medicine for longer than three months at a time without consulting your doctor.
Use with caution in
- People with an infection in the nasal passages or sinuses (the infection should be treated - consult your doctor).
- People who have recently had nasal surgery or an injury to the nose (this medicine should not be used until the nose has healed).
Not to be used in
This medicine should not be used in certain groups of people unless they have been seen by a doctor first. For this reason, your pharmacist will not sell you this medicine and will ask you to consult your doctor first if any of the following apply to you:
- you are under 18 years of age
- you have a nasal or sinus infection or a fever
- you have problems with ulceration in the nose
- you have recently had an injury or surgery to the nose
- you have tuberculosis affecting the lungs
- you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- you are or have recently been using any other product containing a corticosteroid, including creams, ointments, tablets, asthma medicines, eye drops or other nasal sprays or drops.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to 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 or breastfeeding you should consult your doctor before using this medicine.
- The safety of this medicine for use during pregnancy has not been established. Only minimal amounts of the medicine pass into the bloodstream after using the nasal spray. However, as with all medicines it should be avoided during pregnancy, unless the expected benefit to the mother is greater than any possible risk to the developing baby. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
- 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 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.
Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)
- Dryness and irritation of the nose and throat.
- Unpleasant taste or smell.
- Mild allergic reactions such as skin rash, redness, itching or hives.
Very rare (affect fewer than 1 in 10,000 people)
- Perforation of the nasal septum.
- Raised pressure in the eye or glaucoma.
- Allergic reactions such as narrowing of the airways (bronchospasm), swelling of the lips, throat and tongue (angioedema) or anaphylactic shock.
Side effects similar to those associated with corticosteroids taken by mouth may occur if this medicine is absorbed into the bloodstream. The risk of this when using a steroid nasal spray is very low, but may be more likely if the medicine is used at high doses for prolonged periods of time. See the warning section above or talk to your doctor or pharmacist 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?
Beclometasone is not known to affect other medicines when administered into the nose as a nasal spray.
However, if you are taking any other medicines, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist before you start using 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. This is because there may be an increased chance of adverse effects if you are using more than one type of steroid medication and you may need to be monitored by your doctor.
Other medicines containing the same active ingredient
- Beconase aqueous nasal spray.
- Beconase hayfever nasal spray.
- Beconase hayfever relief for adults nasal spray.
- Nasobec aqueous nasal spray.
- Pollenase hayfever nasal spray.
Beclometasone nasal spray is also available from pharmacies and on prescription without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.