getting Q-var (or other inhalers) online - Asthma UK communi...

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getting Q-var (or other inhalers) online

runcyclexcski profile image

Has anyone tried ordering qvar (or other inhalers) online for the full price, to speed things up when GPs are non-responsive? If yes, can you recommend a pharmacy? I found a a web site ("independent pharmacy") which had Qvar 100 for about £40. They gave me the usual asthma assessment questionnaire ("consulation"), but the form would not accept my surgery's address (it's an NHS surgery, do not know what's wrong). Looks dodgy.

I am officially on Seretide 500 as the maintenance inhaler. However, I also found that adding qvar 100 helped bring my PF up by another 5%. I had qvar 100 lying around (from a year ago), so I started taking it too. My theory is that adding the small-particle inhaler helps with the small airwauy inflammation. I have recently run out of qvar, and since them my LF has dropped back by 5%. I asked the GP to put qvar on prescription as well, and the request got ignored. It is the usual passive-aggressive way when they do not want to say no, but do not want to do anything "unusual", either, and prefer to say "we did not receive the request".

12 Replies

Please do not try and purchase prescription only medication online. Many websites can claim to be pharmacies but are not regulated and so you have no way of knowing what you are receiving.

Additionally any valid pharmacy needs to receive a legal prescription to supply medication.

twinkly29 profile image
twinkly29 in reply to Js706

Yes agree. No-one should be buying online especially meds that are not prescribed to them!

Agree with others can be extremely dangerous to purchase online. You need to discuss situation with gp again. There may be reasons why the gp doesn’t want you to take additional inhaler. Personally I am not convinced that a 5% improvement warents an additional inhaler. That small difference can occur naturally on a day to day basis.

Thank you, all! I agree one should not get drugs off the dark web, :) but this pharmacy was going to notify my GP. So this is similar to going to A and E and getting a prescription from them, as opposed to waiting for the GP to respond and get the med with a delay (as many here report). Ordering online and paying extra £30 beats spending 4 hrs at AE for me.

I also have to confess that I have little patience, and I like to take matters into my own hands (legally) more often most. It worked every time so far (with my Xolair treatment, building my own filters and asthma machines etc). Not sure if I would be alive if I kept calm and waited for the GP to be so kind to respond (in a day, or in a year). I also know how drugs are made, where they come from, how they are developed etc, and can do mass-spec myself to confirm what I am getting, if I had doubts.

Finally, 100 micrograms of anything (including most poisons) is a very small dose. Stuff we buy at supermarkets as food and consume in gram amounts is often more dodgy than a 100 spec ug of a poorly purified steroid compound :) OK, there is the propellant, too; it's safer than driving for 1 min behind a diesel lorry.

Js706 profile image
Js706 in reply to runcyclexcski

I don’t know if it can really be compared to going to A&E for it - especially as A&E or urgent care centres would be quite unlikely to provide a prescription that’s not part of your regular prescribed asthma treatment.

And there is still quite a big difference between issuing a medication after getting a prescription sent online and informing your practice afterwards - in fact they shouldn’t be able to issue it without a legally authorised prescription so I’d be fairly suspicious of that claim personally. If they would be issuing after a prescription then you’d be waiting just as long with the online route (probably longer between them requesting the prescription, getting it and then posting it).

Also I do appreciate that for outpatient matters the NHS can run quite slowly, which is frustrating. But for urgent and emergency matters they are generally excellent. And they are still able to move quickly in urgent outpatient situations too - my current xolair trial I think took about 4 weeks from discussing it as a possibility to my first appointment (although in that case I didn’t have to get many tests done other than an up to date IgE, but I think my first trial with sorting everything took about 8 weeks to sort?).

Bevvy profile image
Bevvy in reply to runcyclexcski

I think you should remember that A&E is for accidents and emergencies. Not to organise a prescription that should come via gp or hospital outpatient clinic!You said you couldn’t complete online form in your original post and wanted advice on other online pharmacies. I still believe that this is risky and you should be talking to gp and /or getting support from asthma nurse at surgery.

Finally I would reiterate am not convinced 5% difference is that significant. Most people have variations in peak flow and certainly 5% wouldn’t raise any alarm bells.

runcyclexcski profile image
runcyclexcski in reply to Bevvy

>>>Most people have variations in peak flow and certainly 5% wouldn’t raise any alarm bells.

I've been measuring it for 2 months, it's pretty consistent day-to day. Then dropped by 5% and remained at at that for a week. 5% is not a one-off measurement, I would not pay attention to that.

runcyclexcski profile image
runcyclexcski in reply to Bevvy

>>>I think you should remember that A&E is for accidents and emergencies

Yes, when I went A and E for my asthma attacks, they prescribed prednisolone. I never went to A and E to fix a prescription randomly. All I was saying is that the GP is not the only way to get prescriptions. Particularly when they are not reliable/dismissive which is quite common. Every day there is a post indicating how frustrated they are with their GP.

HiI reckon you need more than just Mass Spec to confirm what’s in your unknown inhaler… for starters what about particle size…?

I agree with others - not a good idea to self prescribe. Just reason with your GP ( if you can…)


The inhaler is not a "no-brand inhaler" like one would get from aliexpress :). I generally do not trust regulatory agencies as much as others, and my requirements are usually stricter, not looser, than theirs. Doing things on my own gives me a sense of control. It feels better than waiting and spending hours/days begging a GP for a piece of paper ( who may have got a 2:2 in my biochem class).

I don't understand why your GP is non responsive. It seems a case that you have decided what medications you should have from the NHS and think you know better than your doctor. By their name they are General practitioners, but within any medical practice there will be GPs who have special interests such as dermatology, asthma, ENT, heart etc.I don't understand your apparent impatience. As for branded medication Trading Standards seize millions of counterfeit branded goods annually.

Can you make an appointment with the asthma nurse at your GP surgery in order to have a proper asthma review, which should happen annually. They will do a full review of your meds in light of your asthma symptoms and bring your prescription records up to date, as well as provide you with an asthma plan. That way you can then register for online services, including ordering repeat prescriptions which can then be digitally transferred to your chosen pharmacy. My surgery won't prescribe new asthma meds without an appointment with a medical practitioner.

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