Qvar

What is the most important information I should know about Qvar?

· Qvar will not stop an asthma attack that has already started. It is used to prevent attacks. Do not use Qvar to treat an asthma attack. Have available another medication that can be used to quickly treat an asthma attack. If you are having an asthma attack that is not responding to any treatment, seek emergency medical attention.

· Seek medical attention if you notice that you require more than your usual or more than the maximum amount of any asthma medication in a 24-hour period. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack.

· If you are switching from an oral steroid (pills or liquid) to Qvar, carry or wear identification that will let others know that you may require a systemic steroid during a severe asthma attack or during another traumatic situation. Discuss with your doctor the precautions necessary when discontinuing an oral steroid.

· Avoid exposing yourself to known sources of infection. Stay away from people with chicken pox, measles, or other contagious infections. Your immune system may not be strong enough to fight off an infection while using Qvar. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of an infection.

 

What is Qvar?

· Beclomethasone is a steroid. It prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

· Qvar is used to prevent asthma attacks and other conditions involving inflammation of the lung tissues.

· Qvar may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

 

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Qvar?

· Qvar will not stop an asthma attack that has already started. It is used to prevent attacks. Do not use Qvar to treat an asthma attack. Have available another medication that can be used to quickly treat an asthma attack. If you are having an asthma attack that is not responding to any treatment, seek emergency medical attention.

· Before using Qvar, tell your doctor if you have a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection of any kind. The absorption of this drug can inhibit the body's ability to fight off infections. You may not be able to use Qvar if you have an infection.

· Qvar is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether Qvar will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

· It is not known whether beclomethasone passes into breast milk. Do not use Qvar without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

 

How should I use Qvar?

· Use Qvar exactly as directed by your doctor. Read the information insert included with the inhaler. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

· If you are also using a bronchodilator such as albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin), pirbuterol (Maxair), levalbuterol (Xopenex), or bitolterol (Tornalate), use the bronchodilator first, then use the Qvar, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Using the medications in this order will allow more beclomethasone to reach the lungs.

· Shake the inhaler several times and uncap the mouthpiece. Breathe out fully. For best results, hold the inhaler 1 to 2 inches in front of your open mouth or attach a spacer to the inhaler and place the spacer in your mouth, above your tongue and past your teeth. Take a deep, slow breath as you push down on the canister. Hold your breath for 10 seconds, then exhale slowly. If you place the inhaler directly into your mouth, you may not receive the correct amount of medicine because it may be propelled onto the back of your tongue and/or throat. If you do use the inhaler directly in your mouth, be sure that it is above your tongue and past your teeth.

· It is very important that you use the beclomethasone inhaler properly, so that the medicine gets into the lungs. Your doctor may want you to use a spacer with your inhaler. Talk to your doctor about proper inhaler use.

· To reduce the chance of a yeast infection in the mouth, rinse the mouth with water after using Qvar.

· Do not use more of this medication than is prescribed for you, but use it consistently, as directed, even when you are feeling better. It may be several weeks before you see the effects of inhaled beclomethasone. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.

· Qvar will not stop an asthma attack that has already started. It is used to prevent attacks. Do not use Qvar to treat an asthma attack. Have available another medication that can be used to quickly treat an asthma attack. If you are having an asthma attack that is not responding to any treatment, seek emergency medical attention.

· Seek medical attention if you notice that you require more than your usual or more than the maximum amount of any asthma medication in a 24-hour period. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack.

· Continue to take any oral steroid (pills or liquid) that your doctor has prescribed for you. Qvar is not a substitute for an oral steroid.

· If you are switching from an oral steroid (pills or liquid) to Qvar, carry or wear identification that will let others know that you may require a systemic steroid during a severe asthma attack or during another traumatic situation. Discuss with your doctor the precautions necessary when discontinuing an oral steroid.

· Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

 

What happens if I miss a dose?

· Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and use the next one as directed. Do not use a double dose of this medication.

 

What happens if I overdose?

· An overdose of this medication is not likely to be harmful. If an overdose has occurred, contact an emergency room or poison control center for advice.

 

What should I avoid while using Qvar?

· Avoid exposing yourself to known sources of infection. Stay away from people with chicken pox, measles, or other contagious infections. Your immune system may not be strong enough to fight off an infection while using Qvar. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of an infection.

· Avoid items or activities that are known allergens or that make your symptoms worse. Clean areas where dust or pet fur may aggravate your condition.

 

What are the possible side effects of Qvar?

· Serious side effects from Qvar are not likely to occur. If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop using Qvar and seek emergency medical attention or notify your doctor immediately:     ·an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);     ·numbness, tingling, or pain;     ·a rash or unexplained open sores or bruising; or     ·worsening respiratory symptoms.

· Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to use Qvar and talk to your doctor if you experience     ·dry mouth, nose, or throat after use;     ·yeast (or other) infections in the mouth or throat (white patches);     ·hoarseness or deepening of the voice, cough, or sore throat;     ·wheezing;     ·increased pressure in the eyes, glaucoma, or tearing of the eyes;     ·headache or lightheadedness;     ·unpleasant (or loss of) taste or smell;     ·decreased growth in children taking large doses; or     ·cataracts, which may develop after long-term use.

· Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

 

What other drugs will affect Qvar?

· Before using this medication, tell your doctor and pharmacist about any other drugs you are taking. The use of other oral, nasal, or inhaled steroids may increase the chance of side effects or overdose.

· Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Qvar or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herba products.

 

Where can I get more information?

· Your pharmacist has additional information about Qvar written for health professionals that you may read.