Medications

QVAR® MDI   

This product is manufactured by Valeant Canada Limited using the ingredient beclomethasone dipropionate.

This product is taken via MDI (metered dose inhaler).


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MDI (metered dose inhaler)


Why is it prescribed?

Beclomethasone is used to control the signs and symptoms of asthma that are responsive to orally inhaled corticosteroids. It is also used as a nasal spray to relieve stuffiness, sneezing, runny nose, and other symptoms associated with allergies where inflammation of the lining of the nose causes it to run. Beclomethasone nasal spray is also used to slow the rate of recurrence of nasal polyps after surgical removal.


  • QVAR® is an aerosol meant for inhalation only. Your doctor or pharmacist should have instructed you on the proper use and care of your QVAR®. It is advisable to have your technique reassessed by the pharmacist for the first 2 or 3 refills of your prescription.
  • Rinsing the mouth with water and spitting out after each use will remove any remaining medication to help prevent local yeast (thrush) infections. Cleansing dentures has the same effect. Notify your doctor if a sore throat or mouth occurs or if you suspect a localized yeast infection.
  • Do not use this medication to treat an acute asthma episode. It is not a rescue medication.
  • It is very important that you use QVAR® regularly. If you miss a dose, just take the next dose when it is due.
  • Children over 5 years of age who can learn the correct use of an inhaler can be treated with beclomethasone under the supervision or with the assistance of an adult who is familiar with the correct use of the device.
  • QVAR® does not require shaking before use.
  • You should test the mouthpiece and aerosol can before using them for the first time, or if you have not used your inhaler for more than 2 weeks. After removal of the plastic cap, test by spraying 4 test sprays into the air, away from your face. This is called priming the inhaler.
  • It is important to know how many doses each canister contains and to keep a record of approximately when it should be replaced. To avoid problems, many people keep 2 inhalers on hand.
  • Your inhaler should be stored at room temperature. During the summer months, do not to leave QVAR® in the glove compartment of the car or in places where temperatures can reach 50 degrees centigrade because this may cause your inhaler to burst.
  • The contents of the canister is under pressure and should never be punctured, used or stored near heat or open flame.
  • QVAR® has been developed for use without a spacer device but evidence suggests it is compatible with the Aerochamber®. Although spacer devices are not necessary, they have been shown to increase effectiveness and help people who are unable to coordinate inhalation with actuation of the inhaler.

Alternatives

Other products that have the same ingredient as QVAR® MDI are •Apo-Beclomethasone nasal spray •Mylan-Beclo Aqueous nasal spray •

See other products used in the treatment of •allergic rhinitis •asthma •chronic bronchitis (COPD) •COPD •hay fever •perennial rhinitis •rhinitis •runny nose •seasonal rhinitis •

  • The recommended dose range for patients 12 years and older is 100 to 800 mcg daily.
  • In patients with mild asthma, 50 to 100 mcg of QVAR® twice daily.
  • In patients with moderate asthma, 100 to 250 mcg of QVAR® twice daily.
  • In patients with severe asthma, 300 to 400 mcg of QVAR® twice daily.

Beclomethasone is a corticosteroid that possesses anti-inflammatory activity. Whether inhaled through the nose or into the lungs, the effect of the drug is local (acting directly on the tissue it comes in contact with). The amount absorbed by the body is minimal and therefore the incidence of unwanted effects is low.


Along with its needed effects, beclomethasone dipropionate may cause some unwanted or undesirable effects. Generally, beclomethasone dipropionate is well tolerated and many people will not experience unwanted effects. The severity and duration of these effects are dependant on many factors including duration of therapy, dose, route of administration and individual response. Possible unwanted effects include:

  • sneezing attacks immediately after use (nasal spray only)
  • irritation and burning in the nose (nasal spray only)
  • dry mouth, hoarsness, and loss of voice (oral inhalation only)
  • localized infection of Candida Albicans (thrush) of the mouth and throat


Less common:

  • sore throat
  • cough
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea

Rare:

  • immediate or delayed allergic reaction (e.g. rash, hives, and bronchospasm)
  • flushing, itchiness, and swelling of the eyes, face, lips and throat

 


  • Never use a higher dose than what you have been prescribed. Using higher than recommended doses will cause greater absorption by the body and possibly lead to greater occurrence of unwanted effects. Optimal relief of symptoms may require 1 to 4 weeks of continuous therapy.
  • If symptoms do not improve or the condition worsens, the doctor should be contacted.
  • Treatment with beclomethasone should never be stopped without first consulting your doctor.
  • Discontinuation of beclomethasone requires gradual tapering or you may experience a flare-up of your condition.
  • Inadequate response can often be a result of improper use of the delivery device. Your doctor or pharmacist should instruct you on the correct use of these preparations. Each product comes with a package insert that should be read and then kept as a reference.
  • Children using any of these preparations should do so under the direct supervision of an adult who is familiar with its proper use.
  • People who are using or who have used beclomethasone or any other corticosteroids should inform their doctor as this may change the treatment plan.
  • When people have been treated with oral corticosteroids (e.g. prednisone) for prolonged periods and are being transferred to intranasally or orally inhaled beclomethasone, they may experience withdrawal symptoms (e.g. joint and/or muscular pain, depression). These symptoms should be reported to your doctor, especially if you have associated asthma or another condition in which too rapid a decrease in systemic steroids may cause a severe flare-up of symptoms.
  • Beclomethasone may mask some signs of infection and new infections may appear. The body tends to have a decreased resistance to infection while on this therapy, so anything of this nature should be reported to the doctor.

Drug Interactions: Due to very low absorption at therapeutic doses it is unlikely that there would be any significant drug interactions. However, it is important to tell your doctor and pharmacist of any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking.

Use is not recommended in the following situations:

  • allergy to beclomethasone dipropionate or any component of the preparation.
  • people with tuberculosis
  • untreated fungal, bacterial and viral infections
  • children under 5 years of age

Caution is recommended in the following situations:

  • people previously treated for prolonged periods with oral corticosteroids e.g. prednisone

Use in pregnancy: If you suspect that you might be pregnant, consult your doctor.

Use while breast-feeding: It is unlikely that inhaled or intranasal administration would produce high enough levels in breast milk to affect infants.


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Page Last Updated: 05/10/2016