Asthma UK community forum
9,888 members16,646 posts

Silly me?

I was just wondering if I;m the only one feeling the same, but would like to hear from othes in the same proverbial boat: i don't want to take any medication. I've always only ever reluctantly taken a paracetamol for only the worst of headaches, but now I don't even want to take my asthma medication, on the thought that I just don't want to have chemicals screwing with my system, basically! I am a bit of a hippy admittedly, but even so I just do not feel comfortable with this.

I was ok (just about) with taking ventolin and then seretide, but as my seretide dosage is constantly being upped, and now being on montelukast, i just don't like the idea of these chemicals stopping what seems to be a natural reaction for my body.Does anyone else feel like this?

The meds DO help, but I am not a particularly severe asthmatic, and don't think I'm at any great risk. My boyfriend is very understanding and says that I really should take them ( he's seen some pretty bad attacks come out of me!) but that it is my choice.

Are there any ""less harsh""/less steroidal meds out there? Any homeopathic/alternative remedies? And am i the only one to think this way?

Thanks in advance

Emz x

11 Replies

I try taking as little medication as needed, but i do take my asthma and allergy meds. My mother though, she really dislikes all these chemicals being propped into my body. She was complaining to my consulant about it and he said something pretty clever, and she pretty much got owned. This is what he said:

""Thousands of people die from asthma every year, but no one has died from taking their asthma medication""

That shut my mom up.

So keep taking your meds, they dont harm you as much as asthma can.


I know just how you feel. When I was first diagnosed I really struggled against being given anything other than salbutamol, I wanted to believe that if my body would sort itself out & I really didn't want any form of steroids, or any drugs regularly going into my system.

I am lucky in that my asthma is only mild, in fact I've been off my steroid inhaler for just over a month, but had I started taking it earlier I'd probably not have been on it so long & probably wouldn't have needed pred! It took me a while but I finally realised that whatever else I did (vitamins, excercise, healthy diet, breathing techniques - please do run everything past your doctor first!) really weren't going to do much for me until the drugs had got me to a stable state. I do believe that they will help me stay healthy though.

I'm fully expecting to be back on the steroid inhaler within the next month or so, as cold air is one of my main triggers, my aim for this year is to stay as healthy as possible & I will take whatever drugs I need to acheive that - last winter I let my lungs take a bit of a battering before I accepted I needed more medication and it's taken me all summer before feeling I'm back to ""normal"" - not a good idea! In the future I really do hope to reduce my medication more & more, by building up my health & by doing everything I can to make my environment better for my lungs. However, I don't see a time when I won't keep salbutamol & antihistamines to hand or have at the very least a ""just in case"" steroid inhaler in the cupboard.


My mum has always been concerned about prednislone,in general steroids. As when I was younger due to my eczema I had heavy steroidal treatment and it had affected my growth.. But I think that as asthma can quickly get worse and also tends to require a long-term preventer to be in control at least to an extent, I think you should continue with the meds. You could try stepping down gradually maybe.


Thanks for all your answers - it's just that my asthma seem all the time to be getting worse, whether I'm on meds or not, so I don't like to take the stuff if it isn't doing any good!

I think partly I'm feeling guilty at wasting somuch Doctor time over the past years and am starting to think myself a bit of a lost cause, probably half the reason I've given the meds uf...I am coughing a lot at the moment but Im guessing my body will soon get used to not having the nedication its been used to!


Have you consulted your GP about giving up your meds??

You seem to imply that you have stopped them and also that you are coughing a lot.

You have stated that your meds make no difference - if you are feeling worse now perhaps they were having an effect when you were taking them.

Perhaps you need a review of your current treatment!

You may benefit from an add on to your treatment or a change - it can sometimes take a bit of juggling to get it right!

Please don't stop taking any meds without professional advice!

Please read again what Haagendaz wrote!



Ok, well i get the general feeling that i should continue my meds, but perhaps also that i should get a review so that im taking as little as possible, for example perhaps trying to step down my seretide so im not taking so much steroids, and i wont use pred unless i really have to...

We'll see what they say.

Thanks alot



You say you are not a particularly severe asthmatic, but then you say that your boyfriend has seen you have some pretty bad attacks? It sounds like your asthma is severe enough to cause significant problems.

Asthma KILLS over 1000 people in this country every year. A good proportion of these people are people who thought their asthma was not too severe, and therefore did not take their meds properly, or did not seek help early enough in an attack. It is not just severe/brittle asthmatics who can die of asthma.

As a doctor, I have seen a young woman die of asthma who had never had a previous hospital admission - checking back with her GP showed that she had requested two months worth of steroid inhalers in the 15 months since being diagnosed and started on them.

Please take your medication as your doctor recommends, and speak to him/her if you have concerns about poor control. There are many different treatments you can try if one specific treatment has side effects and doesn't suit you. The vast majority - 95-97% - of asthmatics can be well controlled with minimal or no symptoms, and you really shouldn't be satisfied with anything less in your situation.

Having a life-threatening attack is one of the most scary and unpleasent experiences imaginable - please don't risk it happening to you.

[I should add that I have self-edited this post before posting it for graphic and potentially frightening descriptions of ICU experiences. I am not usually this frank, I don't like discussing it, and I don't want to frighten anyone, so maybe the fact that I have even considered going into detail will make you understand how strongly I feel about this issue]

Em H


Em H - an excellent post, as always.

There's very little to add; Crazybaby, please don't think that you've been prescribed your meds for ""fun"". You wouldn't be on them unless your doctor thought you needed them. Continue to take them until your doctor tells you otherwise.

If you've had bad attacks, you clearly are in no position to reduce your meds AT ALL, because that is indicative of your asthma not being under control at the moment.

Haagendaz - that quote is excellent. I can see me using that in the future!


Yep, I can see me using that quote too...!


I do not mean to dig here but this was another post of yours

'Hi thanks for your reply.

I was not on icu for asthma - unfortunately, i had severe double pneumonia, pleurisy, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and respiratory/renal/liver failure. I now have emphysemas in my lungs (previously infected abscesses) and also had ""pleural effusions"" - fluid in my pleural lung spaces, as well as my lungs still being semi-collapsed. I am 18 years old.

However, I am confident that these problems are not what's causing my symptoms, I am sure it is my asthma (having been diagnosed about 6 years ago).

Just the constant feeling of being out of breath, tight-chested and wheezy is starting to annoy and worry me everso slightly'

I would think after being that bad you would want to take meds

Tks xx


I completely agree with everyone else here.

I am also 18, and have brittle asthma, diagnosed two years ago, although before that I had mildish diagnosed asthma.

As with Emily H, I'm not going to go into the horror stories, but my asthma went form being easily controlled with a reliever and preventer to going mad, landing me in ICU with a tube in my lungs... not nice. I didn't take it seriously before - I didn't take my meds when I should have, if I was out with my friends I wouldn't necessarily have my inhaler with me etc... Don't let asthma take over your life, but don't allow yourself to pretend that it doesn't exist....

Please don't get freaked out by your meds - they're given to you for a reason, and not in any way to harm you. If you're really not sure, then talk to your GP...


You may also like...