Qvar is a medication that is used for preventing asthma attacks in both adults and children. While the drug cannot cure asthma or treat an asthma attack, it can help prevent asthma attacks from occurring. The medication, which comes in the form of an inhaler and is available by prescription, is generally taken twice a day. Possible side effects of Qvar include sore throat, headache, nausea, and back pain.
(Click Qvar Uses for more information on what it is used for, including possible off-label uses of the medication.)
Who Makes Qvar?
It is made by Teva Specialty Pharmaceuticals.
How Does It Work?
Normally, air moves easily into and out of the lungs through a network of airways. If you have asthma, however, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). The inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating (see Asthma Triggers). When the airways react, a few things happen. The muscles around these airways tighten, inflammation inside the airways increases, and cells inside the airways produce more mucus. This narrows the airways and makes it harder to breathe.
Qvar is an asthma medication that belongs to a group of drugs called inhaled corticosteroids, or steroids for short. Inhaled steroids go directly into the lungs and help to decrease the inflammation of airways that makes asthma attacks more likely. Because Qvar does not work quickly, it should not be used for treating an asthma attack. Rather, it is used twice a day in order to prevent asthma attacks.
Because Qvar is inhaled directly into the lungs, the rest of the body is exposed to lower steroid levels, compared to steroids taken by mouth. This helps reduce or eliminate many of the side effects associated with long-term steroid use.
(Click Asthma Treatment for information about other medicines used for treating asthma.)
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 9, 2010.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed April 23, 2007.
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