What is Qvar (beclomethasone)?
Qvar (beclomethasone) is a corticosteroid used to control bronchial asthma in patients who require continuous treatment for asthma. Such patients may include those with frequent asthma episodes that require medications to dilate the airways in the lung or those with asthma episodes at night.
Qvar is also used to treat asthma in patients who require oral steroid therapy and it may reduce or eliminate the need for oral steroid treatment. Corticosteroids have potent anti-inflammatory actions.
Common side effects of Qvar include:
- mild cough,
- wheezing due to chemical irritation,
- oral candidiasis or thrush,
- easy bruising, pain, and
- back pain.
Serious side effects of Qvar usually accompany higher doses and may include weak bones and risk of fractures and suppression of the adrenal glands.
No drug interactions have been described with Qvar treatment.
There does not appear to be an increased risk of malformation in a child born to patients exposed to Qvar during pregnancy.
It is unknown if Qvar is secreted in breast milk. Other drugs in this class of medications are secreted into breast milk, but is unknown if the small amounts of Qvar that appear in milk have any effect on the infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
What are the important side effects of Qvar (beclomethasone)?
Common side effects of include:
- Mild cough
- Wheezing due to chemical irritation
Other side effects include:
Other less common side effects included:
A spacer device that can be attached to the inhaler and washing out the mouth with water following each use of Qvar reduces the amount of Qvar in the mouth and throat and reduces the risk of thrush and hoarseness.
Higher doses of inhaled beclomethasone (more than 1000 mcg/day) may result in more absorption into the body. This may decrease bone formation and increase bone breakdown (resorption), resulting in weak bones and a risk of fractures.
Even higher doses (more than 1500 mcg/day in adults and 400 mcg/day in children) may suppress the adrenal glands and impair their ability to make natural glucocorticoid. Patients with such suppression (which can be identified by testing) need increased amounts of glucocorticoid orally or by the intravenous route during periods of high physical stress since higher amounts of glucocorticoids are needed by the body to fight physical stress.
Qvar (beclomethasone) side effects list for healthcare professionals
Systemic and local corticosteroid use may result in the following:
- Candida albicans infection
- Hypercorticism and adrenal suppression
- Growth effects
- Glaucoma and cataracts
Clinical Trials Experience
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
The following reporting rates of common adverse experiences are based upon 4 clinical trials in which 1196 patients (671 female and 525 male adults previously treated with as-needed bronchodilators and/or inhaled corticosteroids) were treated with Qvar (doses of 40, 80, 160, or 320 mcg twice daily) or CFC-BDP (doses of 42, 168, or 336 mcg twice daily) or placebo.
Table 3 below includes all events reported by patients taking Qvar (whether considered drug related or not) that occurred at a rate over 3% for Qvar. In considering these data, difference in average duration of exposure and clinical trial design should be taken into account.
Table 3 Adverse Events Reported by at Least 3% of the Patients for Qvar by Treatment and Daily Dose
Other adverse events that occurred in these clinical trials using Qvar with an incidence of 1% to 3% and which occurred at a greater incidence than placebo were nausea, dysmenorrhea, and coughing. Oropharyngeal candidiasis occurred in <1% of patients in both Qvar and placebo treatment groups.
In two 12-week placebo-controlled studies in steroid naive pediatric patients 5 to 12 years of age, no clinically relevant differences were found in the pattern, severity, or frequency of adverse events compared with those reported in adults, with the exception of conditions which are more prevalent in a pediatric population generally.
In addition to adverse reactions experienced in the clinical trials, the following adverse events have been reported during post-approval use of Qvar. Because they are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Local Effects: Localized infections with Candida albicans have occurred in patients treated with Qvar or other orally inhaled corticosteroids.
Qvar (beclomethasone) is a corticosteroid used to control bronchial asthma in patients who require continuous treatment for asthma. Such patients may include those with frequent asthma episodes that require medications to dilate the airways in the lung or those with asthma episodes at night. Common side effects of Qvar include mild cough, wheezing due to chemical irritation, oral candidiasis or thrush, hoarseness, easy bruising, pain, and back pain. Serious side effects of Qvar usually accompany higher doses and may include weak bones and a risk of fractures and suppression of the adrenal glands. No drug interactions have been described with Qvar treatment. There does not appear to be an increased risk of malformation in a child born to patients exposed to Qvar during pregnancy. It is unknown if Qvar is secreted in breast milk.
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Patients who have infrequent, mild bouts of asthma attacks may use over-the-counter (OTC) medications to treat their asthma symptoms. OTC asthma medicines are limited to epinephrine and ephedrine. These OTC drugs are best used with the guidance of a physician, as there may be side effects and the drugs may not be very effective.
Asthma is a condition in which hyperreactive airways constrict and result in symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Causes of asthma include genetics, environmental factors, personal history of allergies, and other factors. Asthma is diagnosed by a physician based on a patient's family history and results from lung function tests and other exams. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and long-acting bronchodilators (LABAs) are used in the treatment of asthma. Generally, the prognosis for a patient with asthma is good. Exposure to allergens found on farms may protect against asthma symptoms.
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Asthma in Children
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Medications & Supplements
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.