Flixotide and adrenal suppression

I was diagnosed with Adrenal insufficiency last week after feeling run down for ages. I used to be on pred every day but in the last 4 years have only required a couple of short courses each year. I was tested for adrenal insufficiency a few years ago and did not have it. Since that test I have only had two courses of pred a year so they are saying that the adrenal problem has most probably been caused by my flixotide ( fluticasone ) inhaler 1000 mcg daily.

I have good asthma control at the mo and am happy with only a couple of admissions a year. I know that fluticasone is quite a potent inhaled steroid so was thinking of asking my cons if it might be worth changing my inhaled steroid to see if I can get some adrenal function back.

I have been well controlled on fluticasone for many many years so am a bit cautious abt changing to another inhaled steroid but will try it if there is a chance that my adrenals might recover.

Have any of you changed from flixotide ( fluticasone ) to another inhaled steroid ? If so, which inhaled steroid has worked for you??? would be grateful for any advice as I don't want to do anything to worsen my asthma control but at the same time, if I can be managed on a less potent inhaled steroid then would like to see if this improves my adrenal function.

Any advice appreciated.

4 Replies

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  • My son developed adrenal supression after using Flixotide back in 1999 (ish)9he made the Lancet, I think it was at the time but it wasn't funny as the first we knew he'd developed it was a full on addisionian crisis), he was 7 at the time I seem to remember and was on 1000mg twice daily (a ridiculously high dose for a small child). Sadly at the time he was left on Flixotide as nothing else at the time worked for him. Gradually as his asthma improved his Flixotide dose decreased and his adrenal function came back.

    Have you tried Fostair? My difficult to manage daughter has responded better to Fostair than any other inhaler she's tried.

  • Thanks for your reply. I'm going to ask my consultant if I can try changing to another inhaled steroid I think. Its encouraging to hear that your sons adrenal function recovered eventually. Must have been a scary time for both if you. Will see what my dr says. It's worth a try. Might mention the fostair. It might help me regain some adrenal function but if not then at least I have tried.

  • Hello LoobyLoobyLoo,

    Hope you're doing ok and get the steroid inhaler sorted. Do you have any idea how often this can happen with fluticasone inhalers? Just wondering as have been on the same dose in Seretide with 3 courses pred over the last 6 months. Don't know myself about potency of other steroid inhalers.

  • My cons has suggested I try budesonide 200 mcg twice a day instead of flixotide but to change back if my asthma starts to deteriorate. Not sure how common the adrenal suppression is. Ive been on flixotide since 1997 and was on pred continuously for 4 yrs. Only had short courses of pred a couple of times a year though for the last 6 years. If you are worried you could ask your GP to arrange for your adrenal function to be tested. At least you will know whether there's a problem. My symptoms of adrenal insufficiency were extreme tiredness, nausea, craving salty foods and not being able to wake up in the morning. Difficult to assess though as these symptoms could be caused by an array of things !!

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