Asthma UK community forum

Inhalers not working

Hi am quite new here but have a question about my daughters Asthma.

She has had Asthma and Eczema since a baby (now 18), coughing is her main symptom followed by wheezing, I had a real battle when she was younger to get a Dr to diagnose her, we had months of being told she had chest infections and being prescribed Amoxycillin which did nothing, when I eventually did see the right Dr (aged approx 2.5 yrs old) she was told this is a classic case of this kind of Asthma! Coughing is now of course considered one of the signs of Asthma but apparantly not when my daughter was young, anyway She has been on so many different inhalers and currently is on Seretide which was great for a couple of weeks now it is uncontrolled yet again, she is prescribed prednisolone when she is really unwell, and of course uses Ventolin.

My question is - is it possible for someone to resistant to Inhaled Steroids, because nothing seems to really help especially at night she is so tired during the day and life is a struggle, I too use Seretide for my Asthma but seems to control it ok - I welcome any advice offered.

3 Replies

to be honest i don't know but like your daughter my main symptom is coughing and was started on seritide125 in may last year and now am on 250 plus flixotide 250 plus others and without much effect. if i find an answer i will ket you know.


Hi Sade,

Sorry to hear about your daughter’s asthma being so uncontrolled atm . It must be very frustrating for both of you.

Does your daughter experience relief from when taking prednisalone?

If she does it may be that she isn’t steroid resistant.

I’ve noticed that when my asthma is uncontrolled the inhalers that normally ‘work’ for me – symbicort 400/12, and pulmicort 200 – do sweet FA. And it isn’t because I’ve developed a resistance to the steroid content. The reason is because the particles of the inhalers can’t reach the lower airways because of the increased inflammation going on provoked by coming into a contact with a trigger such as cold air, dusty atmospheres, moulds, colds and viruses etc.

That’s why systemic drugs such as prednisalone are prescribed because the anti –inflammatory effect of this and similar drugs work at cellular level and thus reach the very small airways to dampen down the inflammatory response, and consequent widening of the airways.

If prednisalone tablets don’t work then another alternative is to try different combinations of inhalers and drugs. I know you have mentioned that your daughter has tried different inhalers, but with the advice of the doc I sometimes retry ‘old’ meds that used to work and then stopped working. I’m currently having another try with sodium cromoglycate in an effort to reduce the amount of times I end up back on pred.

However symbicort has been my ‘wonder’ inhaler, - and, even though I take other meds, this inhaler helps keep things under control during the day.

But of course what works for one won’t for another…

But it is important for you and your daughter to go back to the docs to investigate alternative inhalers and meds.

Don’t give up and I hope you both get more sleep soon!




Thanks Katherine and thank you Mia - what you are saying makes a lot of sense, I appreciate the support offered on here.

We are back up the Drs this week and have already discussed going back on Symbicort.

This time of year is especially nasty for many people with Asthma with nasty damp spores etc lurking around, we are both looking forward to the warmer weather!

Many thanks


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