Asking to change inhalers

I've got an appointment with my asthma nurse on tuesday and I'm going to ask him whether I can try a different inhaler (I'm currently on seretide 500 twice daily) because my asthma is not getting any better and from reading these forums I have realised there are other options to what I'm on. I am going to ask to try Symbicort probably but also might ask about Fostair.

I feel a bit nervous about asking because he's never suggested it although I've been seeing him regularly for a few months because things are not very well controlled at the moment, and neither have any of my GP's. I don't want them to think I'm a pushy patient or whatever. But I don't understand why no one has ever thought of it - I was just stuck straight on Seretide a few years ago - and it worked fine till last year, to be fair. I was referred to the chest clinic about three weeks ago,and have hear nothing yet, but I've been told it'll take time. In the meantime, though, I am not getting any better. I suspect I might be given another lot of pred on Tuesday which I will not be happy about.

Has anyone else ever asked for things like this and got a positive result?


7 Replies

  • Don't ever worry about being a 'pushy patient'. I was like this for many years. After many years I have learned to realise that I have every right to question my treatment, to request that things are reviewed regularly. I spent years and years just doing what I was told, not questioning anything, never complaining. At the end of the day it's your body and you have a right to ask to consider different treatments. If your GP isn't helpful then find another one. Remember you're entitled to ask !

  • Yeah, Dont ever worry about asking to change. I know I didnt get along with one particular inhaler so I just asked my GP to change it. Go with your gut instinct and listen to your body. x

  • I have the same problem

    Was started on the brown inhalor (not sure on the name but it was awful)

    Went on to Seretide 125 and was still having problems so asked for review and got upped to Seretide 250

    Im mostly better, can have a few days with absolutely no problems at all but then i seem to get a little wheezy and its downhill from there! Also have unbearable leg cramps with seretide.

    Have an appointment with my asthma nurse on 23rd and goin to ask to review my meds. Possibly try symbacort also heard about the tablets (i heard that they can help with night time symptoms)

    I hate to be pushy but sometimes its the best way. I think the nurses/drs appreciate that asthma can affect everyone diferently and so its kinda expected that different meds will affect people differently.

    Hoping that I can finally get meds sorted and get this asthma under control.

  • new inhaler

    Hi there, I've recently changed my inhalers to Symbicort after having ANOTHER recurrent chest infection and course of antibiotics and pred. I'm hoping it will work, as I really hated taking the brown inhaler and it will be so much nicer to just have one inhaler to carry round that acts as a preventer and reliever.

    I don't think you're being pushy at all!

    Good luck, Sarah x

  • EmC, don't ever be afraid to ask for a change if somethings not working. All the medication I'm on I've asked for and shown why I think it will work. If you do your research and the doctor and you can get a friendly relationship then things work well. Symbicort is one option, question, how long have you been on Seretide and is your asthma really uncontrolled that you need lots reliever? Singulair or Accolate may worth considering as an add-on or shifting sideways to Symbicort, but do you use a volumatic spacer, if not that would really be worth a shot.

  • Thanks for the replies. I am glad other people are able to ask for what they want and discuss it. I definitely need to do the same - I think I have fair reasons for wanting to try symbicort.

    I asked the other day when I saw the asthma nurse for a review, he says he wants me to be more stable before changing meds but in principle he has no objections (I think he might want to wait to see what the chest clinic say too, which is fair enough)

    I am on seretide 500 and I find it hard to define how controlled or not I am on it - I use salbutamol several times a day, usually in response to feeling a tight chest or getting wheezy - the wheezing thing is quite new to me because before I just used to get tight chested. I had a course of pred about three weeks ago and I'm not bad enough for another course but my PF is around 270-350 at best and I think on seretide 500 I'd expect it to be better than that.

    I haven't had sudden and severe attacks though I just get a really tight chest and wheezy for a long time but I can still talk and move around and my PF drops, but I don't know if that is classed as poorly controlled.

    I just know I used to be fine on seretide 150 and now the 500 isn't even working.

    I haven't heard anything from the asthma clinic and I was referred 3 weeks ago, the asthma nurse says he'll chase them up if I haven't heard anything in another week or so. It's frustrating!

  • Hi,

    Just wanted to say re chest clinic that they can be frustratingly slow - I think it took around 4 weeks this time from GP referral to get my letter through and that included me ringing the department several times (they always said they'd ring back but never did) - on one of those occasions they said 'oh, actually we haven't had your GP's letter yet, can you let the surgery know?' (great, when were you going to tell me?). You do have to chase them I think but even better to have your asthma nurse do it as they might be more likely to listen to him.

    If you can improve what you're on in the short term though don't hesitate to take it as you may have to wait a while even when the letter comes through and it may speed things up in the long term if you can say to the consultant that you tried something and it didn't work (or even better, that it did!) My GP did that, I went to see her about a month before clinic appt and she said 'try this, they may well try you on it and it will save time if you try it now'. (It was Spiriva and it didn't work, but my lungs are just weird).

    Also wanted to say I'm really glad you posted this as like you I always feel pushy saying what I want and asking for something different - but it looks like I'm going to have to as I seem to have reached a diagnostic dead end with symptoms possibly getting worse, and am probably going to have to try ringing the consultant's secretary to ask if there is any possibility of an earlier appt (no idea what to do if the answer is no)! So I know how you feel and also am encouraged by the responses to your post.

    Good luck with all of it - inhalers, chest clinic etc - sorry for rambling on a bit!)

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