Are You Taking Too Much Asthma Medicine?
Many people with persistent asthma need to take a daily asthma control medicine. For many patients, the first step in asthma control medicines is an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) like QVAR®. Other asthma control medicines include combination products that contain two drugs: an ICS and a long-acting beta agonist (or LABA).1
People with asthma who take LABAs alone may have an increased risk of severe exacerbation of asthma symptoms. For some people these exacerbations may be severe enough to lead to hospitalization or death.2 It is not known whether combining LABAs with ICSs reduces the risk of death from asthma problems seen with LABAs.2
Step down asthma treatment
Because of this risk, experts recommend using combination products only when your asthma is not adequately controlled on a "single-agent" long-term asthma control medication like an ICS. Once asthma is under control, your doctor may recommend a "step down" from the combination asthma controller to just an ICS, if it is possible to do so while still maintaining asthma control.2
If your asthma has been under control for at least 3 months, you may want to ask your healthcare provider about stepping down or reducing your asthma control therapy. Stepping down your asthma therapy should be done gradually and under the supervision of your healthcare provider. Do not completely discontinue or suddenly stop taking your medication.1
(beclomethasone dipropionate HFA) Inhalation Aerosol is used in the ongoing treatment of asthma as preventative therapy in patients 5 years of age or older.
is also used for asthma patients who require systemic corticosteroid administration, where adding QVAR®
may reduce or eliminate the need for systemic corticosteroids.
CAUTION: If you are stopping or switching from an oral corticosteroid to QVAR®, follow your doctor's instructions to avoid health risks. (See WARNINGS, Prescribing Information).
- QVAR® does not replace quick-relief inhalers for sudden symptoms.
Inhaled corticosteroids may cause a reduction in growth rate, so children taking QVAR® should have their growth checked regularly. The long-term effect on final adult growth is unknown.
- Do not stop taking QVAR® abruptly without talking to your doctor.
- In clinical studies, common side effects included headache and sore throat. These are not all of the possible side effects of QVAR®. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
- You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.