An early double from Dimitar Berbatov had the Cottagers on cloud nine before a Clint Hill own-goal put them even further ahead but the R’s fought back through Adel Taarabt and Loic Remy.
Berbatov opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the eighth minute with a cool finish after Ashkan Dejagah was brought down in the area by Christopher Samba.
That lead was doubled less than 15 minutes later with Samba again the culprit as he was dispossessed by Damien Duff with the ball falling to Berbatov who finished expertly past Julio Cesar.
Things only got worse for QPR four minutes before half-time when John Arne Riise’s low, driven cross was diverted into the goal by Hill.
Six minutes into the second half and QPR were back in touch when January signing Remy, who had his 49th minute penalty saved by Schwarzer, atoned for the miss by then smashing home off the underside of the bar.
Fulham were reduced to ten men when Steve Sidwell saw red for bringing down Armand Traore which gave QPR the ascendency but they could not make the most of it despite having a couple of chances late in the match.
The loss leaves the R’s second bottom and in real relegation danger, seven points off safety, as the Cottagers remained tenth with their third win in four outings.