Qvar Inhalation : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
QVAR (Beclomethasone) Inhalation is used to prevent shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, and coughing caused by asthma in adults and children 5 years of age and older. It belongs to a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works by decreasing swelling and irritation in the airways to allow easier breathing.
How should this medicine be used?
QVAR (Beclomethasone) Inhalation comes as an aerosol to inhale by mouth using an inhaler. It is usually inhaled twice a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use QVAR exactly as directed. Do not use more or less or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Talk to your doctor about how you should use your other oral and inhaled asthma medications during your treatment with QVAR inhalation. If you were taking an oral steroid such as dexamethasone, methylprednisolone (Medrol), or prednisone (Rays), your doctor may want to gradually decrease your steroid dose starting after you start using QVAR.
QVAR controls asthma symptoms but does not cure it. There may be an improvement in your asthma as soon as 24 hours after using the medication, but the full effects may not be seen for 1 to 4 weeks after using it regularly. Keep using QVAR even if you feel fine. Do not stop using QVAR without talking to your doctor. Call your doctor if your symptoms or your child’s symptoms do not improve during the first 4 weeks or if they worsen.
QVAR Inhalation helps prevent asthma attacks (sudden episodes of shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing), but it will not stop an asthma attack that has already started. Your doctor will prescribe a short-acting inhaler to use during asthma attacks. Tell your doctor if your asthma worsens during your treatment.
Do not use your QVAR inhaler when you are near a flame or heat source. The inhaler can explode if exposed to very high temperatures.
Each QVAR inhaler is designed to deliver 50, 100, or 120 inhalations, depending on its size. After the labeled number of inhalations has been used, subsequent inhalations may not contain the correct amount of medication. You should keep track of how many inhalations you have used. You can divide the number of puffs in your inhaler by the number of puffs you use each day to find out how many days your inhaler will last. Dispose of the inhaler after you have used the labeled number of inhalations, even if it still contains some fluid and continues to release a spray when pressed.
Before using the QVAR inhaler for the first time, read the written instructions that come with the inhaler. Look at the diagrams carefully and be sure to recognize all parts of the inhaler. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist to show you the correct way to use the inhaler. Practice using the inhaler in front of it, to be sure you are doing it the right way.
To use the aerosol inhaler, follow these steps: Keep the inhaler clean and dry with the cover tightly in place at all times. To clean your inhaler, use a clean, dry tissue or cloth. Do not wash or put any part of your inhaler in water.
- Remove the protective cap.
- If you are using the inhaler for the first time or if you have not used it in more than 10 days, apply it by releasing 2 test sprays into the air, away from your face. Be careful not to spray the medication into your eyes or face.
- Exhale as completely as possible through the mouth.
- Hold the inhaler upright (mouthpiece up) or horizontal. Place the mouthpiece between your lips well inside your mouth. Tilt your head back slightly. Close your lips tightly around the mouthpiece keeping your tongue underneath. Inhale slowly and deeply.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through the mouthpiece. At the same time, press down once on the container to spray the medicine into your mouth.
- When you have fully inhaled, remove the inhaler from your mouth and close your mouth.
- Try to hold your breath for about 5 to 10 seconds, then exhale gently.
- If your doctor has told you to take more than 1 inhalation per treatment, repeat steps 3 to 7.
- Put the protective cap back on the inhaler.
- After each treatment, rinse your mouth with water and spit it out. Don’t swallow the water.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using QVAR inhalation,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to QVAR, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in QVAR inhalation. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or have recently taken. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications can also interact with inhaling QVAR, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those not listed here.
- Do not use QVAR during an asthma attack. Your doctor will prescribe a short-acting inhaler to use during asthma attacks. Call your doctor if you have an asthma attack that does not stop when you use the fast-acting asthma medicine, or if you need to use more fast-acting medicine than usual.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had tuberculosis (TB; a serious lung infection), cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye), glaucoma (an eye disease), or high pressure in the eye. Also tell your doctor if you have any type of untreated infection anywhere on your body or an herpes eye infection (a type of infection that causes a sore on the eyelid or the surface of the eye).
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using QVAR, call your doctor.
- If you have any other medical conditions, such as asthma, arthritis, or eczema (a skin condition), they may worsen when you decrease the dose of oral steroids. Tell your doctor if this happens or if you experience any of the following symptoms during this time: extreme tiredness, muscle weakness, or pain; sudden pain in the stomach, lower body, or legs; loss of appetite; weightloss; stomachache; vomiting diarrhea; dizziness; Fainting; depression; irritability; and darkening of the skin. Your body may be less able to cope with stress, such as surgery, illness, severe asthma attack, or injury during this time. Call your doctor right away if you get sick, and make sure all healthcare providers who treat you know that you recently replaced your oral steroid with QVAR inhalation. Carry a card or wear a medical identification bracelet to inform emergency personnel that you may need to be treated with steroids in an emergency.
- Tell your doctor if you have never had chickenpox or measles and have not been vaccinated against these infections. Stay away from people who are sick, especially people who have chickenpox or measles. If you are exposed to one of these infections or if you have symptoms of one of these infections, call your doctor immediately. You may need treatment to protect yourself from these infections.
- You should know that inhaling QVAR sometimes causes wheezing and shortness of breath immediately after inhalation. If this happens, use your fast-acting (rescue) asthma medicine right away and call your doctor. Do not use QVAR inhalation again unless your doctor tells you to.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
QVAR inhalation may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- back pain
- difficult or painful speech
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms or those in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- changes in vision
Inhaling QVAR can cause children to grow more slowly. There is not enough information to know if the use of QVAR decreases the final height that children will reach when they stop growing. Your child’s doctor will carefully watch your child’s growth while he is using QVAR. Talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of giving this medicine to your child.
In rare cases, people who used QVAR for a long time developed glaucoma or cataracts. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using QVAR and how often you should examine your eyes during your treatment.
Inhaling QVAR can cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit an online report to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in its container, tightly closed and out of the reach of children. Store the inhaler upright with the plastic mouthpiece on top at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Avoid piercing the aerosol container and do not dispose of it in an incinerator or fire.
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in a special way to ensure that pets, children and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to get rid of your medication is through a medication take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department for information on return programs in your community. Consult the FDA’s Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medications out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those for taking pills weekly and those used for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not resistant to children and children. young children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately put the medicine in a safe place, one that is up and away and out of your sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.
Do not allow anyone to use your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important to keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should carry this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.