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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Does it matter what inhaled steroid we use???

A new study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and reported on here might prove that it does matter what inhaled corticosteroid a doctor prescribes to control your asthma.

The study, performed by General Practise Research Database (GPRD) studied 2,000 individuals with asthma, and compared the performance of QVAR and Flovent in the United Kingdom for one year.

The study "revealed that those treated with QVAR™ either as initial therapy or with an increase or step-up in dose had a similar or better chance of achieving asthma control than patients who were treated with fluticasone. Asthma control was achieved in the QVAR™ population at lower doses of drug versus those in the fluticasone population. The full article is available at"

GPRD is a not for profit organization, and I have found no evidence that the makers of QVAR (Graceway Pharmaceuticals) had anything to do with the funding of this study. If you know otherwise leave a note in the comments below.

This might be significant research, since recently (as I wrote about here) we in the asthma community have discussed the "theory" that QVAR might have a particle size that reaches deeper into the lungs, way down to the smaller air passages. This may be the reason for the better asthma control.

So if you're having trouble gaining control of your asthma on Flovent, or Advair, or even Pulmicort, you might want to discuss with your physician the possibility of trialing QVAR either instead of your current medicine, or in conjunction with it.


Pissed Off Patient said...

Oh very interesting. I have crap control right now, been wheezing for about a month now. I wonder if Qvar with the Symbicort would work well or not? Better than Pulmicort?

My experience with Qvar was that I couldn't take it as the 1000 mcg Floven dose I was on at the time, was higher than Qvar could provide.

But I can see where combining Qvar with other meds has potential.


kerri said...

Funny you write this, as this is something I've been thinking about over the last couple days. My allergist recently added Pulmicort to my Symbicort/Atrovent regime [we also discontinued my Singulair] and last week my primary asked me about Alvesco, which apparently my pulmonologist added without telling me!

I really hate the Pulmicort DPI [funnily, though, Symbi comes in DPI here too and it's fine], and Steve suggested I ask about the "stronger" steroids--FloVent and Qvar. Because my PFTs show more problems in my smaller airways, I had planned on asking about switching from Pulmi to QVar for my extra steroid when I see my allergist again. So, this gives me a bit of extra drive. Thanks! :)

Rick Frea said...

I actually started researching this because I was wondering if a puff of QVAR added to my Advair would get me to the 100% control mark.

Anonymous said...

My allergist just put me on both of these and have been on for a month. Apt coming up next week for #s check. I was on Pulmicourt before. Can't say as it did much good. I feel that this combo is helping. Not happy about having to take both though.

Anonymous said...

My Allergist has me on both and have been for a month. Was on a mild dose of Pulmicourt before. Mostly was using the rescue one. I am one who hates to take any medication. No severe asthma attacks in years but she said my lungs are junk and I do not smoke. Any way I think this has helped a lot and will know more on Tues when #s are checked. I would prefer to stay on the Qvar only and see how that does. We shall see...