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Qvar vs Ventolin

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Qvar Information

Ventolin Information

Comparative Analysis

Qvar Prescription Information

Ventolin Prescription Information

Qvar Side Effects

Ventolin Side Effects

Safety Information

Cost Information

Market Information



For patients with asthma, certain drugs that alter the functioning of airways can help in managing symptoms and preventing flare-ups. Qvar and Ventolin are two such drugs that are prescribed for asthma. They each impact different aspects of respiratory health but both have beneficial effects in patients with asthma.

Qvar is a corticosteroid inhaler, working to suppress inflammation within the bronchi over time. This makes it particularly useful for long-term management of persistent asthma.

On the other hand, Ventolin is classified as a fast-acting bronchodilator; it works by relaxing muscles in the walls of the small air passages in the lungs within minutes. This immediate response helps rapidly alleviate acute symptoms or sudden onset, making it more suitable for rescue therapy during an asthmatic attack.

Qvar vs Ventolin Side By Side

Brand NameQvarVentolin
ContraindicationsShould not be used with beta-blockers as these can cause severe bronchospasm. Not meant for acute bronchospasm or asthma attacks.Should not be used with beta-blockers as these can cause severe bronchospasm. Not recommended for individuals with a history of hypersensitivity to albuterol or any of its components.
CostAround $246 for one inhaler (120 doses)About $78 per inhaler (200 actuations) for brand name; $25-$60 for generic
Generic NameBeclomethasone dipropionateAlbuterol
Most Serious Side EffectSigns of allergic reactions, vision changes, symptoms of low potassium levels, indications of high blood glucoseRapid heart rate, bronchospasm, tremors, chest pain, signs of allergic reaction
Severe Drug InteractionsBeta-blockers due to risk of severe bronchospasmBeta-blockers due to risk of severe bronchospasm
Typical Dose40-320 mcg/day, with a starting dose for adults and adolescents over 12 years old typically around 40-80 mcg twice dailyTwo puffs (200 mcg) every four to six hours, up to a maximum of eight puffs per day

What is Qvar?

Beclomethasone dipropionate (the generic name for Qvar) is an inhaled corticosteroid typically used as a long-term treatment to manage and prevent symptoms of asthma. This type of medication marked a significant advancement from the earlier bronchodilator treatments for asthma, such as Salbutamol (Ventolin). Beclomethasone was first approved by the FDA in 1976. Qvar works by reducing inflammation and swelling within the airways, effectively keeping them open and making it easier to breathe. It's prescribed usually as a maintenance therapy for chronic asthma. While Ventolin acts quickly to relieve acute symptoms like shortness of breath or wheezing, Qvar has more prolonged effects aimed at controlling underlying inflammation over time. Its targeted action primarily on lung tissue means it has fewer systemic side effects compared to other corticosteroids that can affect multiple organ systems.

What conditions is Qvar approved to treat?

Qvar and Ventolin are both approved for the treatment of different types of respiratory conditions:

  • Qvar, also known as beclomethasone, is primarily used as a long-term medication to prevent and control symptoms such as wheezing and shortness of breath caused by asthma. It's not meant for acute bronchospasm or asthma attacks.

  • Ventolin (Albuterol) on the other hand, is an immediate relief inhaler. It works quickly to treat symptoms of bronchospasm in conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This includes forms of exercise-induced bronchospasm.

How does Qvar help with these illnesses?

Qvar helps to manage asthma by reducing the inflammation in the airways. It does this by delivering a corticosteroid named beclomethasone directly to the lungs, which works by suppressing an overactive immune response that leads to excessive mucus production and swelling of the airway walls. Beclomethasone is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid, which is used for its strong anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body but primarily in areas affected by allergic reactions or autoimmune disorders. Chronic inflammation in people with asthma can lead to permanent damage of their lung tissue if not treated properly, therefore Qvar aims at controlling these symptoms on regular basis.

Ventolin, on other hand, deals with immediate relief from acute bronchospasm episodes associated with conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It achieves this effect through albuterol sulfate - its active ingredient - which causes relaxation of smooth muscles around bronchi and opens up constricted air passages rather quickly. Ventolin belongs to a group of medications referred as short-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists (SABAs).

While both drugs are used for managing respiratory issues related to asthma or COPD, they serve different purposes: Qvar being more preventive while Ventolin acts as an emergency reliever.

What is Ventolin?

Ventolin, a brand name for albuterol, is a short-acting β2 adrenergic receptor agonist (SABA), which means it stimulates the beta-2 receptors in the smooth muscle cells of the bronchi and bronchioles in your lungs. This stimulation results in relaxing and opening up these muscles, allowing for better air flow. Albuterol was first approved by the FDA in 1981. Unlike Qvar (a corticosteroid that reduces inflammation inside airways over time), Ventolin does not have anti-inflammatory effects; its main action is as a bronchodilator - rapidly relieving symptoms like wheezing or breathlessness during an asthma attack. Its lack of anti-inflammatory activity means that it has different side-effects compared to corticosteroids such as Qvar—with common ones being nervousness, shakiness and fast heart rate instead of throat irritation or yeast infection seen with corticosteroids use. The immediate relief provided by Ventolin can be crucial especially for those who frequently experience acute episodes of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

What conditions is Ventolin approved to treat?

Ventolin, a type of bronchodilator medication, is approved by regulatory authorities for the treatment and prevention of:

  • Asthma and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) In addition to these uses, Ventolin can also be used off-label in acute hyperkalemia, due to its ability to drive potassium into cells.

How does Ventolin help with these illnesses?

Ventolin, also known as albuterol, is a bronchodilator which acts directly on the muscles in the airways and lungs, causing them to relax. This action opens up the air passages allowing more airflow into and out of the lungs. It's an important part of treatment for those who suffer from conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), where constriction of these muscles can cause difficulty breathing. Ventolin works rapidly to alleviate symptoms like wheezing or shortness of breath during an attack. Unlike Qvar, which is a corticosteroid used daily for long term control and prevention of symptoms, Ventolin is a "rescue" medication designed to provide immediate relief during an episode of acute symptoms.

How effective are both Qvar and Ventolin?

Both beclomethasone dipropionate (Qvar) and albuterol sulfate (Ventolin) have been used extensively in the management of asthma, albeit for different aims. They were both initially approved by the FDA within a similar timeframe, with Ventolin being first approved in 1982 and Qvar receiving approval later in 2000. Due to their different mechanisms of action, they are often prescribed together rather than as an either-or scenario.

Beclomethasone dipropionate is a corticosteroid that provides anti-inflammatory effects, while albuterol offers bronchodilation by acting on beta-2 adrenergic receptors. A study conducted back in 1998 showcased similar efficacy between these two drugs when it came to managing chronic symptoms of asthma; however, they exhibited differences regarding certain side-effect profiles.

A review from clinical trials published in 2013 highlighted that Qvar reduces inflammation related to asthma starting from the initial week of treatment. It further emphasized its tolerability among various patient groups including children and adults alike. Its widespread usage has made it one of the go-to inhalers for long-term therapy against persistent cases of asthma.

Conversely, a meta-analysis conducted in 2014 reiterated Ventolin's effectiveness compared to placebo when dealing with acute exacerbations or severe shortness of breath episodes due to obstructive airway diseases such as COPD or Asthma. Though not typically used as a first-line maintenance drug like Qvar might be, Ventolin serves as an essential rescue medication during acute asthmatic attacks owing majorly to its fast onset feature.

It is noteworthy though that regular use could lead some patients towards developing tolerance thus making it less effective over time – hence indicating why sometimes medical professionals may recommend using it only when necessary i.e., during sudden bouts or 'attacks'.

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At what dose is Qvar typically prescribed?

Inhaled dosages of Qvar can vary from 40-320 mcg/day, depending on the severity of the individual's asthma. For many adults and adolescents over 12 years old, a good starting dose is typically around 40-80 mcg twice daily. Children aged 5 to 11 may start with a lower dosage of around 40 mcg twice daily. If there is no significant improvement in asthma symptoms after two weeks, your doctor might consider increasing the dose. However, it should be noted that for any patient regardless of age or condition severity, the maximum recommended dosage per day should not exceed 640 mcg.

Ventolin inhaler doses are generally more specific: each puff delivers about 100mcg Salbutamol (its active ingredient). Adults and children over four years usually start with two puffs up to four times a day when needed. The maximum dose within any twenty-four hours is eight puffs for adults and four puffs for children under twelve years old.

At what dose is Ventolin typically prescribed?

Ventolin treatment typically commences with two puffs (a total of 200 mcg) taken by mouth every four to six hours. If necessary, dosage can be increased up to a maximum of eight puffs per day (800 mcg/day), divided into multiple doses, spaced at least four hours apart. For preventing exercise-induced bronchospasm, two puffs should be administered 15-30 minutes before exercise begins. This dose may also be tested if there is no response to initial treatment after several days or weeks. It's important not to exceed the recommended daily dose without consulting your healthcare provider.

What are the most common side effects for Qvar?

Side effects for Qvar and Ventolin can vary. However, common side effects for Qvar may include:

  • Throat irritation
  • Changes in voice, also known as dysphonia
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Upper respiratory tract infection

For Ventolin, some common side effects are:

  • Nervousness or shakiness (tremors)
  • Increased heart rate or palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Sore throat or dry mouth
  • Dizziness

Always consult your healthcare provider if these symptoms persist or worsen over time.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Qvar?

While both Qvar and Ventolin are used to manage asthma, they can cause different side effects. Serious side effects of Qvar may include:

  • Signs of allergic reactions: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling in your face or throat
  • Vision changes such as blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling
  • Symptoms suggestive of low potassium levels like muscle cramps or weakness, irregular heartbeats
  • Indications of high blood glucose including increased thirst/urination

Ventolin's severe side effects may entail:

  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia) that could lead to chest pain or fluttering sensation in the chest
  • Bronchospasm (wheezing, shortness of breath), especially right after using the medication
  • Tremors feeling like you might pass out

If you experience any significant symptoms while using either Qvar or Ventolin inhalers which persist over time and impair your daily activities markedly seek medical help immediately.

What are the most common side effects for Ventolin?

Ventolin, an inhaler used to treat respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD, may cause a variety of side effects. Some individuals might experience discomfort in the throat or dry mouth after use. Others have reported experiencing increased heart rate or feeling shaky and nervous due to Ventolin's potential impact on the nervous system. It can also lead to sleep disturbances such as insomnia. Less commonly, some people might suffer from headache, muscle pain or dizziness after administration of Ventolin. In rare cases, there could be signs of allergic reactions such as rashes and blurred vision is also a possible side effect that should be brought immediately to your doctor’s attention if experienced.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Ventolin?

While Ventolin is generally well-tolerated, some people may experience adverse reactions. If you take Ventolin and notice any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as hives; difficulty breathing; swelling in your face, lips, tongue or throat.
  • Severe headache or sudden vision changes
  • Irregular heart rhythms including a fast heartbeat
  • Tremors or shakiness
  • Worsening asthma symptoms
  • Chest pain spreading to your jaw and shoulder accompanied by nausea and general ill feeling
  • High blood sugar - increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor.

These are serious side effects that need prompt medical assistance. However, most individuals using Ventolin do not experience these severe issues. Always discuss potential risks with your healthcare provider before starting a new medication regimen.

Contraindications for Qvar and Ventolin?

Both Qvar and Ventolin, similar to other asthma medications, may worsen symptoms of breathing problems in some individuals. If you notice your breathing difficulties increasing or find yourself using the quick-relief inhaler (e.g., Ventolin) more frequently than usual, please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Qvar nor Ventolin should be used if you are taking certain drugs like beta-blockers (used for high blood pressure) as these can cause severe bronchospasm. Always inform your healthcare provider about any medication you are currently taking; beta-blockers need adequate time to clear from the system to prevent dangerous interactions with Qvar and Ventolin.

It's also important to not stop using or change the dosage of these medicines without consulting with your doctor first. Both medications should be used regularly for them to work effectively and any changes could potentially lead to an exacerbation of asthma symptoms.

How much do Qvar and Ventolin cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price of a Qvar RediHaler (80 mcg) averages around $246 for one inhaler, which contains 120 doses. If you use two puffs twice daily, this works out to approximately $4/day.
  • The price of Ventolin HFA (90 mcg) is about $78 per inhaler with 200 actuations. If used as commonly prescribed (two puffs every four to six hours), it costs roughly $1–$2/day.

Thus, if your required dosage is higher on the Qvar side, then using brand-name Ventolin can be less expensive on a per-day treatment basis. However, cost should not be the primary consideration in determining which of these drugs is right for you.

For the generic versions:

  • Beclomethasone dipropionate (the active ingredient in Qvar) is unfortunately not available as a generic medication yet.
  • Albuterol sulfate HFA Inhalation Aerosol (generic Ventolin), costs significantly lower than its branded counterpart – roughly between $25 and $60 per inhaler depending on pharmacy pricing and possible discounts; hence costing around $0.30-$0.60/day at typical dosages.

Popularity of Qvar and Ventolin

Beclomethasone dipropionate, in generic form and brand names such as Qvar, was estimated to have been prescribed to about 1.5 million people in the US in 2020. Beclomethasone dipropionate accounted for just over 4% of inhaler prescriptions for asthma in the US. However, it appears to be a preferred choice among 'preventer' inhalers (those designed for regular use), given its low dosage and reduced risk of side effects.

On the other hand, Salbutamol, including brand versions such as Ventolin, was prescribed to approximately 8 million people in the USA during that same year. In terms of reliever inhalers (used when experiencing symptoms or an attack), salbutamol accounts for around 60% of all prescriptions owing to its fast-acting relief from sudden breathing difficulties. Its prevalence has remained steady over recent years due largely to its effectiveness at treating acute asthmatic episodes.


Both Qvar (beclomethasone) and Ventolin (albuterol) have long-standing records of usage in patients with asthma, and are backed by numerous clinical studies indicating that they are more effective than placebo treatments. In many cases, the drugs may be used together as part of an integrated approach to managing asthma symptoms. Due to their different mechanisms of action, with Qvar being a corticosteroid that reduces inflammation in the lungs and Ventolin acting as a bronchodilator that relaxes muscles in the airways, they tend to be prescribed under different circumstances.

Qvar is typically used as a preventative measure for controlling persistent asthma on a daily basis while Ventolin is usually kept on hand for immediate relief during an acute asthmatic episode or before exercise.

Both medications are available in generic form which represents significant cost savings especially for patients who must pay out of pocket. Both Qvar and Ventolin may require an adjustment period meaning effects may not be noticeable right away.

The side effect profile is similar between the two drugs; both being generally well-tolerated but with Qvar having potential side effects like oral thrush if care isn't taken to rinse mouth after use, whereas Ventolin can cause jitteriness or rapid heartbeat. For both drugs, patients should observe any changes especially when starting treatment and should seek medical help immediately if breathing difficulties worsen.