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Stronger reliever?


I'm new to this board, and have had asthma for about 5 years. Im currently taking Salbutamol as required and Seretide 125, although I have recently just finished a course of prednisolone and Seretide 250 after I ended up in A & E with a fairly bad attack and needed a couple of nebs.

However, if i do have an attack - which is fairly often, unfortunately - it usually takes a lot of my reliever (about 10 puffs or so) to have any effect, IF it has any effect at all, sometimes even with a spacer.

Is there anything I can do to sort this out? I have been to my doctor numerous times but he just says to keep on with the Seretide. Is there such thing as a stronger reliever than the standard salbutamol, or have I somehow grown ""immune"" to it?

Thanks in advance, Emz

12 Replies

did the Seretide 250 help? could be 125 not strong enough?


there aren't any stronger relievers - they are all pretty much the same, but some people respond better to one or another. It may be worth asking to be switched to terbutaline (bricanyl) to see if you get better relief with that. if you are needing your reliever lots your asthma is maybe not as well controlled as it should be though, and an increase in preventative meds may be more effective. certainly worth a chat with your gp.



Hi zebra

The Seretide 250 did help alot more, but my gp wasn't very keen on keeping me on it due to it being the ""strongest available dose"" and that should i need to step up to more preventer medication there wouldn't be any available to give me, hence why i take the 125.

Owl, are doctor's able to simply prescribe me a different reliever on the grounds of ""salbutamol is ineffective for me""?

I'm really at my wits end with it all, last night i was lying in bed reading a book and barely able to catch my breath and i do not know why, something needs to be done but im afriad that there IS no more that can be done!


Hi Crazybaby/Emz,

Have you asked your doc for alternative combined inhalers such as symbicort or other different types of inhalers like atrovent?



Emz as Sarah said its more that you need a an alternative preventer, you need to see you gp explain your symptoms and see, they cant help unless you tell them all your symptoms amd fears. And dont worry theres plenty more can be done yet, dont suffer in silence get back to Gp.

Love Andrae xx


my advice would be to ask your GP to find what triggers the attacks.


Hi guys, thanks for all your help!

What are symbicort and atrovent? I'm not familiar with them...

Emz x


Yes, you should definately mention it to your GP. Every asthmatic is different and what works for someone else might not necessarily work for you.


Hi Emz,

Symbicort is similar to seretide. Both contain a corticosteroid preventer drug, and a long acting reliever drug.

Some people do very well on either one or the other of these inhalers.

Atrovent contains a different drug to both seretide and symbicort, -ipratropium bromide, part of the antimuscarinic family.

Atrovent works as a preventer/reliever drug and in particular has a drying effect on the airways, often useful when there is a problem with excess mucous.

Ask your doc for more information about these and any other drugs that will help get your asthma back under control, on a long term rather than short term basis.

Also asking for allergy testing would be useful, because you could be reacting very strongly to something in your home/work environment.

Go pester that doc!

Good luck.



Hi crazybaby

looking through the posts you don't mention if you are under a chest specialist, if you are not i would suggest asking your GP to refer you to one.

You doctor is wrong to suggest that you are on the strongest dosage of Seretide, there is a Seretide 500 that is the strongest one, If you are taking that many puffs of your reliever at once it suggests that your inhalers need to be reviewed.

Under a chest specialist you would have all the necessary tests to see how bad your asthma is and what other inhalers my be better for you.


I am not currently seeing a chest specialist as the doctors in my area aren't that effeicient! Is it possible just to ask for a referral?

I see an asthma nurse once a year, but she told me that she isnt even qualified enough to listen to my chest so i dont see what use seeing her is to be honest...although i guess it helps to be weighed and measured once a year!

I guess i can ask about the ventolin alternatives but i am not holding out much hope for anything to be done. My eczema has also flared up so i guess im in for a rough time...

Cheers, Emz


Listening to your chest is one of a whole range of things drs and nurse do to check asthma its not the be all and end all and is more useful when your acute so dont rule out your nurse because of that!! some nurses know more about asthma than GPs! Your nurse obviously knows alot or she wouldnt beable to hold a clinic? she should do more than just weigh and measure you?

If in doubt ask for a referral to a hosp asthma nurse where ther are specialised in checking you up.

Not all asthmatics need to be refferred to a chest consultant alot of Gps are more than adequately informed and upto date to treat you.



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