Discussing Asthma
Control Medication

The Importance of Daily Asthma Control Medication

It is important for patients to use QVAR® as prescribed. The recommended dose is twice daily (BID). To help you make sure your patients are using the QVAR® inhaler properly, we developed a downloadable asthma patient instruction sheet and instructional video that you can provide to your patients.

Patients may be more likely to take QVAR® as prescribed if they understand the inflammatory process associated with asthma and the way QVAR® helps control this inflammation.

Explain Asthma and Airway Inflammation

Some of the basic points your patients should understand include the following:

  • Asthma affects the airways, the tubes that carry air into the lungs.1
  • People with asthma have airways that are inflamed (or irritated).1
  • When the airways are inflamed, they become narrower and are more sensitive to asthma triggers like smoke, pollen, or exercise.1
  • Even when people with asthma don't have symptoms, their airways may still be inflamed.1
  • Long-term control medicines like QVAR® treat inflammation.
  • By reducing the inflammation in your airways you can reduce the chance of having an asthma attack.1
Studies have shown thickened, inflamed small airways in asthma instead of normal lung airways.

Patients may ask about how QVAR® works. It may help to explain that the particles in QVAR® are small and target both large and small airways in their lungs.

Treating inflammation in the lungs is similar to treating inflammation from a rash on your skin. You want to target the affected area.3-5

Maintaining QVAR® Adherence in Asthma Patients

As with other long-term control medications, QVAR® should be taken daily in order to achieve and maintain control of persistent asthma. Here are some tips you can offer your asthma patients to help them stay on track:

  • Remembering to use the QVAR® inhaler is easier if you pair it with another part of your daily routine, like brushing teeth or putting in and taking out contact lenses.
  • Keep your QVAR® inhaler in plain sight and in a spot that you see every day, such as your bathroom counter (rather than inside a medicine cabinet).
  • If you use an electronic calendar, set up daily alerts to remind you to take your asthma medication.

Indication

QVAR® (beclomethasone dipropionate HFA) Inhalation Aerosol is indicated in the maintenance treatment of asthma as prophylactic therapy in patients 5 years of age or older. QVAR® is also indicated for asthma patients who require systemic corticosteroid administration, where adding QVAR® may reduce or eliminate the need for systemic corticosteroids.

Important Safety Information

  • QVAR® is not a bronchodilator and is not indicated for relief of acute bronchospasm.
CAUTION: Adrenal insufficiency may occur when transferring patients from systemic steroids (see WARNINGS, Prescribing Information).
  • A reduction in growth velocity in growing children and teenagers may occur as a result of inadequate control of chronic diseases such as asthma or from use of corticosteroids for treatment

  • Common side effects associated with the use of QVAR® and placebo in clinical trials include, but are not limited to, headache (12% and 9% respectively) and pharyngitis (8% and 4% respectively).

Please See Full Prescribing Information

References

  1. NHLBI Expert Panel Report 3 (EPR3): Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/asthma/asthgdln.htm. Accessed April 20, 2010.
  2. Mauad T, Silva LFF, Santos MA, et al. Abnormal alveolar attachments with decreased elastic fiber content in distal lung in fatal asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2004;170(8):857-862.
  3. Martin RJ. Therapeutic significance of distal airway inflammation in asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunology. 2002; 109(2):S447-S460.
  4. Leach CL. Effect of formulation parameters on hydrofluoroalkane-beclomethasone dipropionate drug deposition in humans. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1999;104:S250-S252.
  5. Leach C, Colice GL, Luskin A. Particle size of inhaled corticosteroids: does it matter? J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009;124:S88-S93.
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