Ventilin (and I'm new here)

Hey, guys.

OK. I've had asthma since I was a child and for years it was properly controlled. For the last few years, I have been a little lax about controlling it to say the least -thinking it had gone away and then I am confronted with it again.

I have been prescribed ventilin, but I find it to be of limited use - probably one of the main reasons I have stopped using it and why I get so breathless all the time. I was wondering, is there an alternative to it? I went to my GP a while ago about it and saw, unfortunately as it turned out, a registrar who basically told me that there were 2 options - ventilin or a nebuliser and he didnt think it was bad enough to warrent a nebuliser (which it wasnt and still isnt). Preventative inhalers, for example, didnt even get a mention (but then maybe that wouldnt have been an option at that time, my asthma has got worse recently).

So, basically, I'm just after information at this point - id appreciate any and all info on this point really.

Cheers, guys.

Feenix

9 Replies

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  • Hi Feenix, and welcome to the AUK boards.

    I assume from what you have posted that you have been prescribed ventolin, but nothing else. The main goal of asthma treatment is to minimise ventolin use whilst still controlling your symptoms; most of the time people are prescribed a preventer, or steroid, inhaler to take morning and night to control the inflammation in the airways so that they don't have to use the ventolin.

    If a preventer inhaler is not controlling your symptoms the next step could be a ""protector"" (sometimes known as a long acting reliever) inhaler, or, if there is suggestion that your asthma has a strong allergy component, something like Montelukast (singulair) as a preventer tablet.

    Hope this helps - I would return to your GP and have another chat.

    Regards,

    Cathy

  • Hey, Cathy.

    I was indeed prescribed ventolin and nothing else. I've heard of steroidal treatments such as becotide (forgive what I am sure is awful spellings of medications here!) and so forth, and am slightly concerned about the possible side effects of steroidal medication. Still, I'm guessing that the dose is relatively small, right?

    I have to be honest - I have never had the goal of asthma medication described to me before. It makes perfect sense to use a preventative medication rather than relying on something to simply control the symptoms.

    As you say, I would do well to discuss these matters with my GP, and will be making an appointment today to do just that. Also, I hope I caused you no offense with my reference to a registrar giving me undetailed information - I see you are you a registrar yourself.

    Cheers for the reply and for the welcome. :-)

    Pete

  • Hi Pete,

    No offence at all!! Don't worry!

    The doses of inhaled steroids are indeed very low, and one of the main points is that, because they are inhaled rather than being taken by mouth, very little is actually absorbed. In fact, you only tend to start getting small amounts of systemic (body-wide) absorption at higher doses of inhaled steroids; it is quite rare that inhaled steroids at usual treatment doses cause any side-effects at all.

    Good luck on your return visit to your GP ;)

    Cathy

  • Hi Pete,

    Like Cathy said, may be worth talking about a preventer inhaler, esp if your asthma is getting worse and you are feeling like you need your ventolin more often - and she's a doc so knows what she is talking about re side effects.

    but also, if you feel the ventolin isnt working when you DO use it, maybe there is a problem here? It could be worth getting your inhaler technique checked - it seems so simple you couldnt be doing anything wrong, but maybe a medical professional could give you advice that would make it most effective (and I'm sure I read a survey somewhere about a certain proportion of asthma patients using their inhaler by holding it against their chest .....). Or, maybe talk about different delivery devices i.e. same drug but different ways of getting it into your lungs (I've only ever used MDI for ventolin/salbutamol but there must be others (?)), or possibly using a spacer device - bulky, but does make it easier to take.

    hope the appointment with the GP is useful and you get sorted.

    Ali

  • Ali how do you use your inhaler holding against your chest? That one baffles me or maybe I'm dim.

  • Ali, I shouldn't laugh I know because I have seen people doing all sorts of strange things with medication during my working life eg aminophylline suppositories put up the nose. I too wondered how they thought they would get their medication by putting it up again their chest but some people do think it should be put by the place that is being affected.

    Feenix (Pete) why don't you try getting an appointment with your asthma nurse. You may have to wait a while but if you ask at reception at your surgery they can put you on the asthma nurse list. That way you can have consistency by seeing the same person every time and they are good at advising the most appropriate medication and liaise with the GP's. They can put your mind at rest as to the different medications and the most appropriate device to dispense it for yourself. They also check your technique.

    Ange

  • Fascinating stuff - I very much appreciate your replies.

    The idea of holding the inhaler against the chest? Well, I never heard of that one but it makes a kind of sense in a way I suppose, applying it to the effected area. Don't much fancy the idea of suppositories up the nose (or suppositories in general, honestly) either!!

    I have made an appointment with my GP today - its for friday so I havent got too long to wait which is good. There is a nurse at the surgery, but I dont know if there is an asthma nurse specifically - seems my knowledge on this subject is rather incomplete. Still, not for much longer I'm sure.

    Thanks again - regards. :-)

    Pete

  • I found ventolin gave me a splitting headache and was not much use otherwise. Alternatives are Bricanyl which is very similar to ventolin and atrovent which is a different class of reliever drug. Both work better for me than ventolin.

  • If you are worried about your inhaler technique at all try watching the Asthma UK demo below !

    asthma.org.uk/using_your.html

    Or click on HEALTH PROFESSIONALS on the Asthma UK site then locate ""Interactive Inhaler demo"" !!

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