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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Prices and coupon for 1 (120 doses of 160mcg/4.5mcg) inhaler of budesonide / formoterol
Reviews & ratings
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4.23Qvar
Reviews for Qvar (beclomethasone)
34%
of people (All ages) say Qvar (beclomethasone) is worth it
29%
say it works well
26%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Qvar (beclomethasone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Symbicort (budesonide / formoterol)
58%
+24% better vs. Qvar (beclomethasone)
40%
+11% better vs. Qvar (beclomethasone)
14%
+12% better vs. Qvar (beclomethasone)
394 reviews
Have you used Symbicort (budesonide / formoterol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
QvarSymbicort
  • Headache 6%
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Oral symptoms inhalation route 1%
  • Sinus inflammation 1%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Pain 2%
  • Speech disorder 2%
More Qvar side effects »
  • Common cold 2%
  • Throat pain 1%
  • Sinus inflammation 1%
  • Flu 2%
  • Back pain 2%
  • Nasal congestion 2%
  • Stomach discomfort 5%
  • 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
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
QvarSymbicort
  • Inhaler
  • Nasal spray
  • Inhaler
Used for
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

    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.

    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.

    Kidneys and liver
    QvarSymbicort
    • Adrenal suppression can occur if you lower your dose or stop taking Qvar (Beclomethasone) too quickly. Symptoms include joint or muscle pain, extreme low energy and depression. Changes in your medication need to be done slowly and over time. Talk to your doctor before you decrease or stop Qvar (Beclomethasone).
    • Adrenal suppression can occur if you lower your dose or stop taking Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol) too quickly which is related to one of the medications in the combination. Symptoms include joint or muscle pain, extreme low energy and depression. Changes in your medication need to be done slowly and over time. Talk to your doctor before you decrease or stop Symbicort (Budesonide / Formoterol).
    Weight
    QvarSymbicort
    • Steroids can slow height growth in kids.
    • Steroids can slow height growth in kids.
    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.
    • 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.
    • Can cause new or worsening eye pressure, glaucoma, and cataracts.
    • You have to use Symbicort twice a day, every day to control your symptoms.
    • You can't lower the dose or stop taking it too suddenly.
    • Lower doses are not as effective for COPD.
    • Can make your heart race.
    • 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.
    • There have been some reports of worsening asthma leading to death when taking this medicine.
    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.
    • Rinse your mouth out with water after each use.
    • Clean the mouthpiece with dry cloth once a week.
    • Talk to your doctor if asthma symptoms don't get better.
    • 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.
    • Rinse your mouth out with water after each use.
    • 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.
    Learn more
    More about QvarSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Qvar (beclomethasone)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about SymbicortSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Symbicort (budesonide / formoterol)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it