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Handihaler and asthma

Hi folks,

I'm feeling very depressed this evening. I've had a few chest infections over the last three winters, three in 2008, one last year and a mild one already this year. I spoke to the asthma UK nurse before Christmas and she recommended that I ask my doctor about trying a montelukas tablet in addition to my Seretide preventer that I currently take. I'm still not convinced that the seretide is right for me, as when I first had the chest infections I was on QVAR and my normal peak flow was 320EU. It's still this now on the Seretide and I'm still getting problems each winter, I also have a nasonex spray for Rhinitis. The doc reckons this is the right preventer for me and when I asked about trying the Symbicort Smart inhalers, I was firmly dissuaded from the idea. I love to run and for the past three weeks, just have hardly been able to. :'-(

The doctor last week gave me more antibiotics which seem to have done nothing and I've had a second course of prednisolone this winter. He also gave me a handihaler which seems more geared to COPD patients and it also says not to take it if you are allergic to lactose. Well, I stopped drinking cow's milk or having any cow's milk products nearly two years ago, as I realised this was a problem for me (I have goat's milk instead). However, I just don't know what to do for the best now? I just want to RUN!!!! :-o

I'm just home from a pretty stressful Christmas away in an old house with lots of dust and my peak flow while on the prednisolone is only 320EU, so I'm wondering what on earth is going on, as i normally go up to about 370 while on prednisolone. I don't want to try the handihaler because of the lactose allergy thing and there are lots of things that have made my asthma worse in recent days/weeeks. The reason I've had another infection this year is I've been having to work outside in the ridiculously cold temperatures, or not earn any money and be flat broke after being made redundant from an office job. A rock and a hard place!!

The handihaler also says that you can't just come off it at a whim, so seeing as there have been so many factors to trigger much worse asthma in the last three weeks, do I wait it out now and hope things settle a little?

5 Replies

Hi Soph,

Do you have a asthma nurse at your practice?

They are usually a little more helpful and have more time to keep an eye on you but doctors are also

really good.

Some medication works better as it has time to build up in your system to get the maximum

out of your medication.

If you think your medication you are on is not working for you ,then you need to see your doctor etc


montelukas is a tablet taken at night and usually good for exercised induced asthma .

love Glynis x


Thanks Glynis,

I've booked to see the asthma nurse, but have been to A&E this evening as my chest has felt sore all day and I've been struggling to get a breath. Doc said not to take the handihaler, as I've had problems with lactose in the past. Doc said that my airways are just reacting badly after the chest infection and to double up on my reliever for a few days. Just so so frustrating.


By the ""handi haler"" I take it you mean Spiriva. There is now some evidence that it works for asthmatics as well and in some countries it is licensed for both asthma and COPD there is another inhaler device which is the one I use and is much better it is called the respimat.


Soph. Glad you got help and hope you feel a bit better soon. Love glynis x


Things were really bad again this morning with the tight chest feeling and breathlessness, so I decided to just try taking the spiriva capsule despite the lactose allergy thing. I took it at lunch time and by late afternoon/this evening I am feeling so much better. I have this funny feeling in my throat likes it's a bit swollen, but my chest feels a lot better. I will keep taking it till I see the asthma nurse in 11days and see what she says, but at least I don't feel so awful this evening. :-D


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