Asthma UK community forum
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what is controlled?

went to the GP today to change the reliever im using back to salbutamol (bricanyl makes me really shakey etc.) while i was there she was talking about whether i needed a long acting reliever or another steriod inhaler or something to keep me under control. she asked me how often i was using it and currently im using it every other day at least (and then it usually takes a while to get my breathing right) and she said that that was fine and so i didnt need to change anything. i know a lot of people on here have little or no controll on there asthma and i do consider myself lucky, I just thought you were supposed to be aming for completely symptom free? thanks for any advice etc.

8 Replies

Well that's what I thought too. Although some say 2-3 times a week using reliever is ok, so perhaps that is open to interpretation? Sometimes I feel like you get different answers from different healthcare professionals and that personal opinion plays a big part.

Hope you get it all sorted soon, if you are unhappy perhaps go and see the nurse? Have found mine to be far more knowledgeable and understanding than the doctor, she also spends more time listening.


yeah, i just dont feel controlled, im using my inhaler 3/4 times a week but i dont use it as often as i need to (i wake up in the night and cant find it in the dark and im too sleepy to bother, im not too bad to fall back to sleep so i dont NEED to take it) i dont really go to the nurse, shes meaner than the doctors are, i complained once when she really did things incorrectly (ordered bloods without asking a doctor when she should've, then used the wrong needle and bottle and so spent a long time trying to get blood out of my arm, then sent me all the way to the other surgery even though it was the one right next to my house grr) and since then she wont help me properly and doesnt have the power to make prescriptions! its just so tiring.


I agree. My asthma nurse has the time to listen to me. My GP doesn't. Mostly cos asthma is not his speciality. Great on joints and ligaments though.

Controlled for me is only to have to use my reliever one or two puffs if something triggers it eg weather or someone's perfume.

Best wishes



oh dear, it's not good. Could you perhaps make another appointment with the doctor then and explain to him/her why you feel that you dont have proper/complete control over your symptoms? Perhaps use your inhaler each time you feel like you have symptoms and then you can give a more accurate figure. You should be using it each time you have symptoms anyway (although i do the same sometimes too). If you feel they wont listen then take someone else in with you, I heard a doctor say once that they instantly listen more when they see two people come in to their surgery together.

Good luck. x


Perhaps talking to one of the Adviceline nurses might help? Number is at top of page, free from a landline 9-5, Mon-Fri.


Agreed, you shouldn't need to use your reliever unless you come into contact with a known trigger or like me pre-exercise. No symptoms and not using your reliever daily/every other day is the aim of good control. Go back and have a chat, I'm lucky both GP and nurse are brill, my GP will chat about nothing and everything for 20 mins.


Hi, I understand that 'controlled' Asthma means you only need to use a reliever when you are exposed to a trigger. The rest of the time the combination of Preventers and/or Long Acting Relievers should be enough. The current doseage of Symbicort that I take has reduced my Ventolin intake from 8+ puffs every day down to maybe 6 puffs a week.

Hope this helps you as too much reliever useage made me feel headachey, shaky and nauseous.


I posted a link on the AUK FB page last month to this it reports that frequent reliever usage can make asthma worse, so proper preventer choice and dosage are the way to go.


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