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- Controls symptoms of asthma
- Prevents asthma attacks
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Qvar is a type of preventer inhaler. It contains the active ingredient beclometasone dipropionate. It is prescribed for adults and children over 5 to help manage the symptoms of asthma.
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Prescriptions issued by European Doctors
- Qvar is an inhaler that is used to keep the symptoms of asthma under control
- Qvar is the trade name, and the inhaler contains the active ingredient beclometasone which is a steroid
- Qvar comes in two different strengths and as several different types of inhaler
- Qvar should be taken every day, even when you do not have symptoms of asthma
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does Qvar Work?
Qvar is a corticosteroid inhaler. The steroid within Qvar is called beclometasone. It helps to reduce the swelling within the airways. It does this by dampening down the actions of inflammatory cells in the airways, including mast cells and white blood cells.
Once the swelling is minimised, it is easier to draw air into the lungs via the airways. This makes your breathing feel easier and helps to reduce wheezing.
Unlike reliever inhalers, after starting a preventer inhaler it can take a week or two before you notice a difference in your symptoms. At this point, it is important to continue using your inhaler every day as prescribed. Stopping your inhaler is likely to lead to your symptoms of asthma recurring.
You may also need a “reliever” inhaler in case of a sudden flare up of symptoms including breathlessness, wheezing, or coughing.
How is Qvar Taken?
Unlike a reliever inhaler which is only taken when your symptoms suddenly worsen, you should take Qvar every day. Many people will take their inhaler in the morning and in the evening.
Qvar is available as an autohaler, an aerosol inhaler and as an Easi-Breathe inhaler. It is therefore important to follow the manufacturer’s information to ensure you take your inhaler properly.
It is advisable to rinse your mouth with water after taking Qvar, as this will reduce the risk of side effects including hoarseness and mouth infections.
Dosage of Qvar
Your dosage of Qvar will depend on your age and the severity of your asthma symptoms. For adults and children aged over 12, the dose ranges from 100 to 800 micrograms per day, which will usually be split across a morning and evening dose.
For children aged 5 years and over, the dose ranges from 100 to 200 micrograms per day in two divided doses. Children may also require a spacer device to make it easier to take their inhalers.
Are there any Side Effects?
Like all medications, Qvar can have some side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Oral thrush (fungal infection of the mouth)
- Dry or sore throat
- Hoarse voice
- Taste disturbances.
These side effects may settle down, but if they persist or become troublesome you should speak to your doctor for further advice. Rinsing your mouth with water after taking Qvar may help to prevent side effects. If you think you have oral thrush, seek advice from your doctor as the infection may require treatment.
More serious side effects are rare. They are more likely if you have been taking Qvar for a long time. They include:
- Signs of an infection including high temperature, cough with phlegm or mucus, pain on passing urine (peeing), or mouth sores
- A round puffy face known as ‘moon face’ – this can be a sign of Cushing’s Syndrome
- Diarrhoea and vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, tiredness, and dizziness – these can be signs of adrenal problems
- Blurred vision due to glaucoma or cataracts.
Serious allergic reactions happen very rarely. If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip swelling or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
Qvar may not be suitable for everyone. You should tell your prescriber if you:
- Have ever had an allergic reaction to Qvar, beclometasone or another medication
- Have, or have ever had, tuberculosis
- Cannot have alcohol
- Are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding – this is because it is important that your asthma is well controlled during these times.
Your prescriber can then advise whether Qvar is a suitable medication for you.
Occasionally, using a new inhaler can lead to worsening of your asthma symptoms. If you notice shortness of breath, wheeze, or a persistent cough after taking Qvar, use your reliever inhaler and contact your doctor straight away.
Some medications can interact with Qvar. You may be advised that Qvar will not suit you if you already take:
Because Qvar may not suit everyone, we will complete a Consultation with you including a health questionnaire. This will ensure that the medication will be suitable for you.
A qualified prescriber will review your current medications, including any herbal remedies or supplements, to ensure that Qvar will not interact with them.
Once prescribed, Qvar will be ordered on your behalf via electronic prescription. Qvar will then be conveniently dispatched from one of our partner pharmacies.