Compare Qvar vs. Symbicort

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Qvar
(Beclomethasone)

Symbicort
(Budesonide / Formoterol)

Prevents breathing problems. Qvar (Beclomethasone) is good at controlling and preventing asthma symptoms when you take it every day.Prevents breathing problems. Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol) is good for people who need two medicines to control their asthma or COPD, but it might be expensive since there's no generic available.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.193548387096774Qvar
Reviews for Qvar (Beclomethasone)
32%
of people say Qvar (Beclomethasone) is worth it
29%
say it works well
26%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol)
57%
+25% vs. Qvar (Beclomethasone)
39%
+10% vs. Qvar (Beclomethasone)
15%
+11% vs. Qvar (Beclomethasone)
Side effects
QvarSymbicort
  • Sore throat 23%
  • Headache 16%
  • Back pain 3%
  • Speech disorder 2%
  • Sinus inflammation 1%
  • Oral symptoms inhalation route 1%
More Qvar side effects »
  • Stomach discomfort 5%
  • Oral candidiasis 4%
  • Headache 4%
  • Throat pain 4%
  • Lung infection 3%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 3%
  • Common cold 2%
  • Flu 2%
  • Nasal congestion 2%
  • Vomiting 2%
More Symbicort side effects »
How it works
QvarSymbicort
Qvar (Beclomethasone) is a corticosteroid. It lowers inflammation in your lungs, which controls asthma and prevents asthma attacks.Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol) is a combination medicine. Budesonide (a corticosteroid) lowers lung inflammation to control asthma and COPD. Formoterol (a bronchodilator) relaxes muscles in your lungs to open airways and make breathing easier.
Type of medication
QvarSymbicort
Anti-inflammatory
Corticosteroid
Prescription only
Anti-inflammatory
Corticosteroid
Bronchodilator
Long-acting bronchodilator
Prescription only
Available as
QvarSymbicort
  • Inhaler
  • Nasal spray
  • Inhaler
Used for (click to learn more)
QvarSymbicort
Risk factors for serious side effects
QvarSymbicort
  • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
  • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
  • Bacterial or viral infection not being treated
  • Long-term treatment
  • Not vaccinated against chickenpox or measles
  • Not rinsing mouth after use
  • Higher dose of Qvar (Beclomethasone)
    • Dose of Qvar (Beclomethasone)
    • Duration of treatment
    • History of high internal eye pressure
    • History of cataracts
    • History of glaucoma
    Detailed Qvar (Beclomethasone) risks & warnings »
    • Adverse effect of long-acting beta agonist drugs (LABAs), one of the medications in Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol), a combination drug.
    • History of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema
    • Age greater than 65 years
    • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
    • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
    • Not rinsing mouth after use
    • Higher dose of the corticosteroid medication contained in Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol)
    • Adverse effect of long-acting beta agonist drugs (LABAs) found in Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol), a combination medication.
    • History of arrhythmia, hypertension or heart failure
    Detailed Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    QvarSymbicort
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    See the FDA package insert
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    Food
    No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    No specific sleep-related info.
    • Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol) may increase blood pressure and heart rate, especially if you already have these conditions. These symptoms are related to one of the medications in this product so don't change or increase your dose without talking to your doctor first. Tell your doctor if you develop dizziness, tremor, nausea, rapid heartbeat, become very tired or have difficulty sleeping while taking Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol), you may need to change or stop this medication.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    QvarSymbicort
    • Relieves symptoms and improves control of asthma.
    • People report fewer asthma symptoms and better lung function when they take it every day.
    • Inhaling this medicine (rather than taking an oral steroid) gets more into the lungs and less into rest of your body, which lowers the risk of side effects. Inhaled corticosteroids can be used safely for years compared to oral corticosteroids like prednisone.
    • 2-in-1 medicine that lowers inflammation and opens airways in your lungs. Medicines are more effective together than alone.
    • Makes lung function significantly better.
    • Lowers the number of flare-ups and rescue inhaler uses in asthma and COPD.
    • In studies, shown to improve asthma symptoms, rescue inhaler use, and lung function on the first day.
    Downsides and risks
    QvarSymbicort
    • You have to use Qvar every day to control your symptoms.
    • Can cause new or worsening eye pressure, glaucoma, and cataracts.
    • You can't lower the dose or stop taking it too suddenly.
    • Steroids can slow height growth in kids.
    • Because steroids suppress your immune system, you can catch bacterial and viral infections easier, and they can take longer to go away.
    • You have to use Symbicort twice a day, every day to control your symptoms.
    • Lower doses are not as effective for COPD.
    • Can make your heart race.
    • There have been some reports of worsening asthma leading to death when taking this medicine.
    • You can't lower the dose or stop taking it too suddenly.
    • Steroids can slow height growth in kids.
    • Because steroids suppress your immune system, you can catch bacterial and viral infections easier, and they can take longer to go away.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    QvarSymbicort
    • Use daily to control your asthma symptoms.
    • Starts working the same day, but it can take up 1 to 2 weeks to feel the full effects.
    • Pump the inhaler 2 times before inhaling the first dose, or if it's been more than 10 days since your last dose.
    • Wait one minute between doses.
    • Clean the mouthpiece with dry cloth once a week.
    • Talk to your doctor if asthma symptoms don't get better.
    • Rinse your mouth out with water after each use.
    • Lowers inflammation and opens airways to improve breathing.
    • Prevents breathing problems, but doesn't stop sudden cough or wheezing once they start.
    • Starts working in about 30 minutes, but can take 1 to 2 weeks to feel full effects.
    • Use inhaler in a level position, and don't breathe out into the device.
    • Shake inhaler for 5 seconds before you use it.
    • Pump the inhaler 4 times before inhaling the first dose, or if it's been more than a month since your last dose.
    • Call 911 or your doctor if it's hard to breathe, or if you have an asthma attack while taking this medication.
    • Rinse your mouth out with water after each use.
    Learn more
    More about QvarSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about SymbicortSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert