Treating Asthma, Maintaining Control
There are several types of medicines that treat asthma. Depending on the type of asthma you have, your healthcare provider may prescribe one or more asthma treatment options.
Quick-relief medications for asthma
Quick-relief or rescue inhalers treat asthma attacks or flare-ups. Most quick-relief inhalers contain a short-acting beta agonist (SABA). These inhalers work by opening up your lungs' inflamed airways, making it easier to breathe.1 If you have been diagnosed with asthma, you should always carry your quick-relief inhaler with you. Learn more about a quick relief inhaler.
However, if you need to use a quick-relief inhaler more than two days a week, your asthma and asthma symptoms may not be under control. Your healthcare provider may prescribe a long-term controller medication for asthma.1
Long-term control medications for asthma
People with persistent or chronic asthma need an everyday asthma control medication in addition to a quick-relief inhaler. For many patients, the first choice in asthma controller medicines is an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), like QVAR®.1 The medicine in the QVAR® inhaler reduces airway inflammation and helps improve lung function.2
Long-term asthma control medicines should be taken every day, even if you are not having symptoms, in order to keep asthma symptoms under control. Forgetting to take your asthma control medicine—or stopping because you don't have symptoms—may increase your risk of asthma attacks.1
Combination inhalers to treat asthma
Combination products contain two drugs; one is an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) and the other is a long-acting beta agonist (or LABA).1 When used as monotherapy for the treatment of asthma, LABAs are associated with an increased risk of severe exacerbation of asthma symptoms, which may lead to hospitalizations or death in some patients.3 Currently available data are inadequate to determine whether ICSs mitigate the risk of asthma-related deaths from LABAs.2
Because of this risk, combination products should only be used for patients whose asthma is not adequately controlled on a long-term asthma control medication such as an ICS. Once asthma is under control, your doctor may recommend a "step down" to just an ICS, if it is possible to do so while still maintaining asthma control.3
(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.