Qvar is a brand name for Beclometasone, a steroid drug that falls under a class of medications referred to as corticosteroids. Patients use this treatment to control and prevent asthma symptoms.

This drug does not produce immediate relief hence it cannot be used to relieve asthma attacks. Instead, physicians prescribe Qvar as a long-term medication to prevent and reduce the risk of asthma attacks.

How Does Qvar Work?

Being a corticosteroid, Qvar works by acting directly on the lungs by reducing irritation and suppressing inflammatory responses produced by inflammatory cells in the airways, including mast cells, lymphocytes, and plasma cells.

By inhibiting airway inflammation, Qvar makes breathing easy and alleviates asthma symptoms.

Precautions and Warnings of Qvar

It is advisable to consider certain precautions and warnings to prevent possible harm from Qvar use. Some conditions that may affect how you should use Qvar include:

  • Allergic Reactions: While Qvar is well tolerated by people with allergies, it’s important to notify your doctor if you are allergic to any of its ingredients before starting treatment.
  • Pregnancy: Do not use Qvar if you are pregnant because it slows down the fetus’s growth and interferes with its height.
  • Breastfeeding: It’s unclear whether Qvar passes into the mother’s milk. As such, lactating mothers should consider talking to a doctor before using this medication.
  • Vaccination: If you are taking a live vaccination, avoid using this medicine as it weakens the immune system, making you susceptible to infections.
  • Osteoporosis: Prolonged use of Qvar can significantly reduce bone mineral density and increase the risk of developing weak bones.
  • Tuberculosis: Patients suffering from tuberculosis or having inactive tuberculosis should inform the doctor before being administered with the medication, because Qvar may cause the re-emergence of TB or make it worse.
  • Oral Hygiene: Observe oral hygiene like rinsing your mouth after using the Qvar inhaler to prevent the overgrowth of microorganisms causing fungal infections like Candidiasis which affects your mouth and throat.
  • Prolonged Use: Using Qvar for extended periods may lead to the development of several chronic conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, and cardiovascular conditions.

Qvar Side Effects

Despite its tremendous effectiveness in treating asthma and COPD, Qvar has side effects that you must observe to prevent adverse effects. Some of the side effects are commonly seen in most patients while others are rare yet severe.

Common Side Effects

These common side effects are temporary and disappear on their own.

  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Common cold
  • Throat irritation
  • Sinusitis

Severe Side Effects

If you experience any signs of these severe side effects call your doctor immediately.

  • Redness or white patches in the mouth or throat
  • Allergic reactions
  • Osteoporosis or bone fractures
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Slowed child growth
  • Symptoms of glaucoma or cataracts

Qvar Drug Interactions

Qvar’s pharmacological properties may influence or be influenced by various types of medications causing side effects or affecting their efficacy. Careful consideration should be taken when co-administering Qvar with other medicines to prevent potential interactions.

Inform the doctor about any other medications that you’re using including vitamins and over-the-counter drugs.

Drug Interactions
Ritonavir (Norvir)Combining ritonavir and Qvar may affect the metabolism of corticosteroids leading to altered corticosteroid levels.
KetoconazoleConcurrent use of Qvar and ketoconazole can lead to the inhibition of the metabolism of corticosteroids increasing its levels in the body, which may intensify side effects like stomach upset.
FurosemideIncreases toxicity of furosemide
CyclosporineCyclosporine (Restasis) is a type of immunosuppressant that weakens the immune system further when combined with Qvar
ClarithromycinUsing Qvar and clarithromycin (such as Biaxin) concurrently may inhibit the metabolism of the drug, potentially leading to increased corticosteroid levels.
Other Inhaled CorticosteroidsThe use of Qvar with other corticosteroid medications increases the risk of corticosteroid-related side effects such as systemic absorption.

Strengths, Dosages & Usage of Qvar

Here’s how Qvar is generally prescribed for different Asthma patients. However, be sure to follow your doctor’s advice for individualized strengths and dosage based on your condition for effective treatment.

Patients AgePatients TherapyMinimum dosageMaximum dosageNo. of times a day
Children 4 to 11 yearsBronchodilators Alone40mcg (1 inhale)80mcg (1 inhale)Two times a day (after 12 hours)
Children 12 years and above and adultsBronchodilators or Inhaled Corticosteroids40-80mcg (1 inhale)320mcg (1 inhale)Two times a day (after 12 hours)

Depending on the severity of the condition or body weight, your doctor may prescribe other dosages of 80 mcg or 160 mcg twice daily to patients aged 12 years and above. It is advised to restrict the total number of inhalations to no more than 8 inhalations per day for optimal usage and safety. Also, make sure to rinse your mouth with water and spit after taking Qvar to prevent throat irritation and mouth infections (Candidiasis).

Usage

Instructions on how to use Qvar:

  1. Make sure the mouthpiece is clean with no foreign objects to prevent the risk of choking.
  2. Hold the Qvar inhaler upright, breathe out, and then put your lips around the mouthpiece.
  3. Inhale slowly while pressing the canister, hold your breath for 10 seconds, and exhale slowly.
  4. In case you need another puff, repeat the same procedure. Do not forget to replace the cover after each use.

Qvar Alternatives

Before using any alternative medication, seek medical advice from your doctor or pharmacist.

Besides Qvar, there are other types of alternative medications used in the treatment of asthma and COPD. The consideration of using an alternative drug is an important aspect of patient-centered care. They include:

  • Advair Diskus: It contains two active ingredients fluticasone and salmeterol that work effectively to treat asthma and COPD.
  • Proair Repiclick: A medication that helps in reducing inflammation in the airways and prevents symptoms of Asthma and COPD.
  • Other medications include: Symbicort, singulair, dupixent and montelucast.

FAQs of Qvar

Can I use Qvar to treat an asthma attack?

No. Do not use Qvar as an immediate relief during an asthma attack. This medication does not work right away, instead, it is a long-term corticosteroid, gradually reducing inflammation in the lungs and helping to maintain an open airway.

How long do I need to use Qvar?

The time you will use the medication to manage asthma varies for different patients. While some patients might use it for a short period, to some it may be a lifelong necessity needed to keep lungs healthy and relaxed to prevent possible Asthma attacks.

Why do I need to rinse my mouth after using Qvar?

Rinsing your mouth helps to remove Qvar medicine left in the mouth. This reduces the risk of developing oral thrush, a yeast infection that affects your mouth and throat.

Can I use Qvar with other asthma medication?

Yes. Your doctor can prescribe Qvar with other medication, after carefully examining your health profile and ensuring there are no possible interactions that could cause side effects to your body.

What are the common side effects of Qvar?

Common side effects of Qvar are temporary and disappear on their own. They include headache, nausea, mouth pain, runny nose, and common cold.

Is Qvar suitable for young children?

Children below the age of 12 years are not allowed to use the drug unless stated otherwise by a doctor. Pediatric patients should consider alternative medications usually prescribed to treat asthmatic conditions in children.

What is the cost of Qvar in America?

Qvar is not available as a generic medication, making it very expensive with an average retail price of $234 for 10.6 g, 40mcg. However, some Medicare and medical insurance may cover part of the cost of the medication. You can also use discount cards, coupons, and copay cards to reduce out-of-pocket costs for the medication.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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