Qvar vs Albuterol - Compare Differences Between Uses & Side Effects

This article explains what are the differences between Albuterol and Qvar:

Qvar

It is the brand name of beclomethasone, a prescription medication that is used to treat asthma in adults and children 5 years of age and older. It belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids.

This anti-inflammatory corticosteroid works directly in the lungs to make breathing easier by substantially reducing the irritation and swelling of the airways.

The medication is produced by Teva Pharmaceuticals and it was first approved by the US FDA in 2000.

Uses

This corticosteroid is prescribed as a maintenance asthma medication to help prevent asthma flare-ups. In order to work, this medication must be used by asthmatics on a daily basis, even when they do not have any symptoms.

Important note – because it does not work immediately, the medication should not be used to relieve an asthma attack. It may be used with other asthma medications, such as – bronchodilators, medications that open up narrowed breathing passages.

Dosage

This anti-inflammatory corticosteroid is prescribed in either a 40 mcg or an 80 mcg metered dose inhaler. An improvement in pulmonary function is seen within one week to a month after initiation of treatment.

You shouldn’t take more than 320 mcg twice a day, that would be 2 puffs of 80 mcg, or 4 puffs of 40 mcg, twice a day.

If this anti-inflammatory corticosteroid has not been used for 10 days, you should prime it by actuating into the air 2 times.

Side Effects And Precautions 

Common side effects may include:

  • headaches;
  • dryness in the nose, mouth, or throat;
  • hoarseness or deepened voice;
  • stuffy nose;
  • a cough;
  • sinus pain;
  • a sore throat.

Rare side effects may include:

  • tired feeling;
  • muscle weakness;
  • loss of appetite;
  • weakness;
  • nausea;
  • numbness;
  • worsening asthma symptoms;
  • wheezing;
  • blurred vision;
  • unexplained weight loss;
  • changes in the location of body fat;
  • skin rash;
  • seeing halos around lights;
  • breathing problems;
  • white patches on the lips or inside the mouth.

Alcohol

Alcohol may negatively interact with this medication, hence, you shouldn’t drink alcoholic beverages while taking it.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is unclear what effect this medication has on nursing babies, hence, talk to your healthcare provider before taking this anti-inflammatory corticosteroid if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Also, there are no well-done studies to know what effect this anti-inflammatory corticosteroid may have on a pregnant woman’s unborn child. Hence, talk to your doctor before using it if you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant. 

Albuterolme

This medication belongs to the family of medicines known as adrenergic bronchodilators, medications that are breathed in to open up the bronchial tubes in the lungs.

In addition, it is used to prevent asthma brought on by exercise and to treat shortness of breath and wheezing caused by asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Its brand-names include – Proventil, ProAir, and Ventolin.

Uses

It is used to prevent and treat difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness, caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, a group of conditions which affect the lungs and airways.

Dosage

This adrenergic bronchodilator comes as an extended-release tablet, a syrup, or a tablet. The usual recommended dose of the medication is 2 inhalations every 4 to 6 hours.

To prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm (occurs when the airways in the lungs narrow when you exercise), it is suggested to use 2 inhalations 1 half an hour before you start the exercise session. Its effects should last about 6 hours.

Note – when using this adrenergic bronchodilator for the first time, you should prime it by spraying 4 test sprays into the air.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • headaches;
  • hoarseness;
  • nausea;
  • dizziness;
  • a sore throat.

Rare side effects may include:

  • difficulty breathing;
  • tightness in the chest;
  • stuffy nose;
  • problems swallowing;
  • stomach problems;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • vomiting;
  • skin rash;
  • swelling of the throat, eyelids, face, tongue, feet, lips, hands, or legs;
  • shortness of breath;
  • dry mouth;
  • irregular breathing;
  • muscle pain;
  • redness of the skin;
  • diarrhea;
  • noisy breathing.

Drug Interactions

This medication may negatively interact with other drugs, therefore, tell your doctor what other medications you are taking, especially:

  • beta-blockers, such as – propranolol (Inderal, Inderal LA);
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as – tranylcypromine;
  • tricyclic antidepressants, such as – amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep);
  • other inhaled drugs used to relax the air passages, like – levalbuterol (Xopenex) or metaproterenol (Alupent);
  • lisinopril;
  • Epinephrine (EpiPen, Primatene Mist);
  • abilify;
  • diuretics (water pills);
  • Digoxin (Lanoxin).

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There are no conclusive clinical studies to show whether this medicine passes into breast milk. Therefore, it is recommended to talk to your healthcare provider before breastfeeding while using this medicine.

Bottom Line – Qvar vs Albuterol

Qvar (active ingredient – beclomethasone) is an asthma medication which is taken through an inhaler. It belongs to a group of drugs known as corticosteroids and it helps reduce inflammatory responses in the human body which cause asthma attacks.

Albuterol is a medication that can quickly relieve shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness. It is in a class of medications known as bronchodilators, that work by relaxing and opening air passages to the lungs.

In conclusion, albuterol is a bronchodilator, meaning that it opens the bronchial tree so you can breathe. It can be used daily, however, it also can be used as a rescue inhaler.

On the other hand, Qvar is an inhaled steroid which should be used on a regular basis to decrease inflammation and swelling in the lungs, but it is not a rescue inhaler.

References

https://www.nature.com/articles/jp2016177?WT.ec_id=JP-201702&spM
http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(00)03216-4/fulltext
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26061801