Caregiver's Guide to Asthma

Become your child's asthma advocate

As a parent or caregiver, you can be your child’s advocate––at home and at school. To create a safe, healthy environment for a child with asthma, here are some steps you can take right away:

Establish a routine

The best way to increase your child’s chances of “staying ahead of asthma” is to make sure they use QVAR® twice daily, as directed by a doctor. An easy way to do this is to associate QVAR® with things your child already does twice-a-day, like brushing their teeth.

Talk to your healthcare provider about asthma

Only a doctor can diagnose asthma. Your doctor will want to know if you or anyone else in your family has asthma, along with your child’s medical history.

Know your child’s asthma symptoms

Does your child wheeze, get frequent respiratory infections, wake at night with trouble breathing or find it hard to breathe after exercise? Know the signs and symptoms of asthma in children and tell your child’s doctor.

Remove and avoid asthma triggers

Asthma attacks can be triggered by allergens or irritants such as exercise, cold air, secondhand smoke, mold or tiny dust mites that live in bedding and stuffed animals. Identify these asthma triggers and help your child avoid them—at home, at school, and when visiting friends and relatives.

Common indoor asthma triggers:

  • Mold
  • Dust mites
  • Stuffed animals
  • Perfumes
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Cockroaches
  • Pets
  • Cleaning solutions

Common outdoor asthma triggers:

  • Air pollution
  • Wood smoke
  • Wildfire smoke
  • Road dust
  • Car exhaust
  • Mold spores
  • Tree, grass and weed pollen
  • Cold air

Have your child take his or her asthma medication

If your child is diagnosed with asthma, your doctor may prescribe a quick-relief inhaler and may also recommend a daily control inhaler. Take all medication as directed, and be sure to use the daily control inhaler even when symptoms aren't present.1

Create an Asthma Action Plan

Together, you and your doctor can create an Asthma Action Plan. Make sure you, your child and all the caregivers in your child's life carry a copy of the plan. That includes relatives and babysitters, as well as nurses, teachers and coaches at your child's school.

An Asthma Action Plan may include:

  • How to take an asthma controller
  • How to take a rescue inhaler
  • How to use your child’s inhaler(s)
  • How much medication to take
  • When to take asthma medicine
  • Emergency contact information
  • Tips for avoiding asthma triggers

Be sure to have a school plan and a vacation plan as well.

Approved Uses
QVAR® (beclomethasone dipropionate HFA) Inhalation Aerosol is used in the ongoing treatment of asthma as preventative therapy in patients 5 years of age or older.

Important Safety Information
  • QVAR does not replace quick-relief inhalers for sudden symptoms
  • Do not use QVAR if you are allergic to beclomethasone dipropionate or any of the ingredients in QVAR
  • Do not use QVAR more often than it is prescribed. Do not stop taking QVAR abruptly without talking to your healthcare provider
  • QVAR may cause serious side effects, including:
    • Fungal infections (thrush). Tell your healthcare provider if you have any redness or white-colored patches in your mouth or throat. Rinse your mouth with water without swallowing after using QVAR to help prevent an infection in your mouth or throat
    • Worsening asthma or sudden asthma attacks. After using your rescue inhaler, contact your healthcare provider right away if you do not get relief from your sudden asthma attacks
    • Reduced adrenal function. This potentially life-threatening condition can happen when you stop taking oral corticosteroid medicines and start using QVAR. Tell your healthcare provider right away about any symptoms such as: tiredness, weakness, nausea and vomiting, and dizziness or faintness
    • Immune system effects or infection. Tell your healthcare provider about any signs or symptoms, such as: fever, pain, body aches, chills, feeling tired, nausea, or vomiting
    • Increased wheezing right after QVAR use. Always have a rescue inhaler with you to treat sudden wheezing
    • Serious allergic reactions. Stop using QVAR and call your healthcare provider or get emergency medical help right away if you get any of the following: hives; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; rash; or breathing problems
    • Slowed growth in children. Children should have their growth checked regularly while using QVAR
    • Lower bone density. This may be a problem for people who already have a higher chance for this condition
    • Eye problems. If you have had glaucoma, cataracts or blurred vision in the past, you should have regular eye exams while using QVAR
  • The most common side effects of QVAR include: headache, throat irritation, and sinus irritation

  • Please see full Prescribing Information

    You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Reference
  1. NHLBI Expert Panel Report 3 (EPR3): Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/asthma/asthgdln.htm. Accessed July 27, 2015.