The following reporting rates of common adverse experiences are based upon 4 clinical trials in which 1196 patients (671 female and 525 male adults previously treated with as-needed bronchodilators and/or inhaled corticosteroids) were treated with QVAR (doses of 40, 80, 160, or 320 mcg twice daily) or CFC-BDP (doses of 42, 168, or 336 mcg twice daily) or placebo. Table 3 below includes all events reported by patients taking QVAR (whether considered drug related or not) that occurred at a rate over 3% for QVAR. In considering these data, difference in average duration of exposure and clinical trial design should be taken into account.
The aim of this article is to bring less well recognised adverse effects of inhaled corticosteroids to the attention of prescribers. Whilst inhaled steroids have a more favourable side effect profile than systemic steroids, they are not free from adverse effects. The dose of inhaled steroids used should be carefully monitored, and kept at the lowest dose necessary to maintain adequate control of the patient’s disease process. Be particularly aware of the cumulative effect of co-prescribing various dose forms of corticosteroids (inhaled, intranasal, oral and topical preparations).
Use of QVAR with a spacer device in children less than 5 years of age is not recommended. In vitro dose characterization studies were performed with QVAR 40 mcg/actuation with the OptiChamber and AeroChamber Plus ® spacer utilizing inspiratory flows representative of children under 5 years old. These studies indicated that the amount of medication delivered through the spacing device decreased rapidly with increasing wait times of 5 to 10 seconds as shown in Table 2. If QVAR is used with a spacer device, it is important to inhale immediately.