What is QVar (Beclomethasone)?
QVar is a medication prescribed to prevent and control the symptoms of chronic asthma in adults and children 5 years and older.
QVar belongs to the drug class, inhaled corticosteroids. These medications work by reducing the inflammation in the lungs and opening the airways.
QVar is not recommended:
- If you are allergic or have had an allergic reaction to QVar or ingredients in QVar
- If you are having an asthma attack
- If you have untreated fungal, bacterial or tuberculosis (TB) infections of the lung
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- For patients younger than 5 years of age
What are the Indications for QVar?
QVar is approved for the treatment of chronic asthma. QVAR is not indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm.
How is QVar used?
QVar should be stored at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C) away from heat or an open flame. Do not puncture the canister.
Keep out of reach of children.
QVar is for breathing in only and you should use it as directed by your doctor, even if you feel well. Do not use QVar is you are already having an asthma attack, use a reliever medication instead.
Do not shake the inhaler before use. Remove the cap, use the medication and place the cap back on. Rinse out your mouth and gargle with water after each use. Do not swallow the water, spit it out. Clean the mouthpiece after use by wiping it with a dry tissue or cloth. Do not emerge QVar in water.
If QVar gets into your eyes, rinse it with a lot of water.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, only take one dose. Do not catch up by taking two doses at once.
Do not change your dosage, take more than what is prescribed, or stop using QVar without consulting with your doctor. If you took more than prescribed, contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care.
QVar is available as an oral inhalation aerosol in the following strengths: 40 mcg and 80 mcg. The recommended starting dose is 40 mcg twice a day. Your doctor may increase your dosage until your asthma symptoms are under control. The maximum recommended dosage is 320 mcg. If you do not see any improvement in your symptoms after 1 week, contact your doctor.
It’s important to understand that although QVar is FDA-approved, it comes with side effects that may or may not affect you.
Before starting QVar, you should discuss possible side effects with your doctor or pharmacist.
Common Side Effects
Not all side effects require medical attention. As your body adjusts to QVar, side effects may go away. Tell your doctor if you experience the following symptoms, and they become severe or do not go away on their own.
- Nose or throat irritation
- Common cold
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Trouble sleeping
Serious Side Effects
Severe adverse reactions while taking QVar may occur. Seek emergency medical care or call 911 if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Severe allergic reaction: severe rash or itching, swelling in the face, lips, tongue, or throat, dizziness, blistered or peeled skin, unusual hoarseness, or problems breathing or talking.
- Infections: fever, chills, bad sore throat, ear/sinus pain, cough, more saliva or change in colour of saliva, pain passing urine, mouth sores, wound that won’t heal.
- Vision changes: glaucoma, cataracts
- Thrush: white patches or redness in the mouth and throat, sore throat.
- Worsening asthma symptoms: trouble breathing, breathing that is worse, wheezing, or coughing
- Other: skin bruising and thinning, depression or mood changes, muscle weakness, pain, increased thirst or urination, pins and needles, extreme tiredness, upset stomach or nausea.
The information above does not list all possible side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side effects not listed. You or your doctor may report side effects to the FDA by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
Warnings & Precautions
Before using QVar, tell your doctor or pharmacist:
- If you are allergic to QVar or any ingredients in QVar
- If you have a thyroid disorder or liver disease
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
Long-term use of QVar may slow the growth of children and adolescents. Children should use the lowest effective dose and may need regular growth checks.
QVar may cause weak bones and increase your risk of bone fractures. Your doctor will monitor your bone health while you are taking this medication and may do a bone density test.
If you have glaucoma or cataracts or are at risk of developing them, have your eyes checked by your doctor before starting long-term treatment with this medication. Your eyes should be regularly monitored and a pressure check performed.
Getting vaccines while using QVar may increase your chances of infection or make the vaccine not work as well. Speak to your doctor before getting any vaccines.
Chickenpox and measles
If you contract chickenpox or measles while using QVar, it can be severe or even lead to death. If you have not been vaccinated against chickenpox or measles, avoid exposure to them. If you contract these illnesses, contact your doctor immediately.
Pregnant or Planning to Become Pregnant
Do not use QVar if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, speak to your doctor who will determine if the benefit of using QVar, outweighs the risk.
Breastfeeding or Planning to Breastfeed
QVar passes into breast milk and it may affect your baby. Speak to your doctor about whether you should continue breastfeeding.
Interactions & Contraindications
Before using QVar, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take any medications, herbal supplements, or vitamins.
QVar may interact with these medications:
- tobacco (smoked)
Status asthmaticus is when you suffer respiratory failure from acute asthma or an asthma attack. If an attack comes on quickly and it doesn’t respond to regular treatment, it can lead to status asthmaticus, QVar is contraindicated in the primary treatment of status asthmaticus or other acute episodes of asthma where intensive measures are required.