Asthma UK community forum

Solution found for exercise induced asthma

I posted a while ago on this topic and I thought I would update as it might be useful for everyone else.

Having has EIA for a number of years, this year it has been worse and also impacting on my everyday life. I historically too ventolin before exercise which used to work well but had stopped having an effect. I was sent to a lung specialist who identified that I was allergic to a number of things including pollen and dust mites.

He put me on a cortisone inhaler which after 2-3 weeks had eliminated the asthma I was having during normal day to day activities but I still was getting breathing difficulties when running.

I went back about 10 days ago and had a lung function test which was normal. I have now been prescribed Fenoterol to take 5-10 minutes before exercise and it seems to be working well and I am gaining confidence to exercise again.

I am not sure what it does or what side effects it might have but so far all is good.

2 Replies

Glad you have found something that works. It's great to be able to do the sports you love, and not have any symptoms afterwards.

I was like you with EIA, and asked the doc for montelukast, I've had that just over a week, and it appears to be working well. No cough after a run, and my first 50mile bike ride yesterday without ventolin.


Hi C_ Scarlet,

I’m really pleased you’ve found a drug that helps with EIA. However formoterol on its own can be a little risky without using an accompanying inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) such as budesonide, flixotide or beclomethasone diproprionate to name a few.

Formoterol is a long- acting beta(2)-adrenoceptor agonist (LABA) and as such is one high powered drug to help relax constricted airways for lengthy periods of time(approximately twelve hours). Some countries, for example New Zealand, won’t allow the use of this drug for asthma unless combined with inhaled corticosteroids.

When both short - SABA's- and long acting - LABA's - BETA agonists such as salbutamol/turbutaline and formoterol/salmeterol are used on a regular basis their broncho dilating effects remain undiminished. However these drugs lose effectiveness when bronchospasm is caused by allergans, exercise and even asthma tests such as a methacoline challenge, hence the reason why anti -inflammatory inhalers such as budesonide, flixotide and beclomethasone diproprionate should be used alongside all SABA’s and LABA’s.

Symbicort and seretide offer a dual combination of LABA’s and inhaled steroids, a far safer combination than individual medications especially if you are forgetful, or in a hurry.

I had a very unfortunate experience when relying solely upon formoterol some years ago, resulting in a hospital appearance on the day I should have been taking part in a race. It was always much easier in those days to use one inhaler that worked very quickly or so it seemed !

Good luck with your EIA and remember ...

... even Captain Scarlet had a vulnerability to high-voltage electricity!


You may also like...