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GP rationing my ventolin - very scared

Hi everyone, my name is Selina, and this is my first time posting on this forum.

I'm 56, widowed, and have suffered rom severe asthma all my life, and more recently, COPD.

Last month my GP drastically reduced my Ventolin inhalers from one a week to one every two weeks. He claimsI was over-using it. I take Seretide and Atrovent regularly as a preventative,however my chest is still tight and wheezy most of the time, and being on such short rations severely restricts my range of movement regarding exercise. I dare not swim anymore, and can barely do any housework lest this trigger an attack.

My GP also feels my asthma is partly psychological, which makes me very angry, as asthma and COPD are both physical illnesses.

I'd be very grateful if anyone could advise me on how to deal with this problem.

Thank you,


10 Replies

Hi, sorry to hear about your problem with your go. Sounds to me like you need to see another gp ASAP! Either see a different gp within the practice or you can easily change gp practices by simply signing up to a new one. After seeing another doctor I'd be tempted to put in a complaint about this gp as it sounds like he needs further education on the treatment of asthma. He should have tried to increase your control of your asthma by increasing your preventative meds or by referring you to see a consultant resp con to get a second opinion if he was unsure that your symptoms were really from asthma, rather than massively reducing a medication you highly rely on. It does sound like your asthma control is poor and there is a good few other preventative medications which could be trialed. A referral to a consultant could help disiffel the difference between what's asthma and what's COPD and help you to gain more control over both conditions.

Good luck



Thank you, Alice, for your reply. My GP has flatly refused to let me see a chest consultant, which is mystifying. After all, what do chest consultants do?

I have tried changing GPs within the practice, but all them are full. I am thinking about changing practices, but I may not necessarily get a better doctor - there is just no way of knowing beforehand.

I am down to see the asthma nurse specialist, but I doubt if she has equal knowledge to a chest consultant, nor if she can influence my GP.


Hi I have sufferd from Asthma for most of my life and at the moment it is the worst it has ever been, I am lucky to have a wonderful GP, however I usually see the asthma nurse at my surgery, she has refered me to the asthma nurse at the hospital. who has now referd me to a chest consultant so please dont give up on your asthma nurse they are often more informed than GP's and are very sympathetic, mine is able to prescribe ventolin too. Was your COPD not diagnosed by a consultant?

Hope you get sorted soon .


I'd be scared too if anyone started rationing my ventolin. I think you need to seek the help of some alternative health proffessionals. Maybe the asthma nurse at your surgery or a chest consultant, I don't think the gp can refuse a request for referral. You need to get a better control of things, so don't be affraid to keep chasing for that to happen and to find the right person to help you. Good luck. xx


I agree with what everyone else has said. I'm a bit surprised when you say the other GPs are full - do you mean no appts or you can't officially change your named GP to them? Because at my surgery, and I thought it was the same at others, you do have a named GP but can make an appt with any of them, without formally 'changing'; I never see my named one.

Hopefully if you change GP and find a better one the rest should come more easily ie if they have a better attitude in general they'll probably be happy to refer you to a consultant. I agree it's a risk changing surgery but if you can't get anywhere with the current one then you're no worse off if you change, and chances are there'll be at least one who's better - I'd hope!

Good luck and hope you get somewhere. You could try ringing the AUK nurses - number top left - for a chat about what to do as they're very helpful and knowledgeable, about this sort of thing as well as specifically medical questions.


There is no way your gp should be reducing your ventolin at this stage without seeing a consultant first. secondly him saying its psychological as well is rubbish. I have not met an asthmatic yet that a psychological problem increases asthma attacks. You may be worried and scared during an attack but who woulden't be!! My consultant tried to pin somthing similar on me a few years ago and my gp went BONKERS!! at him. Even now my cardiac consultant when i was rushed in hospital 4 years ago said it was a chest problem as heart was fine.

Don't let this one go. Ask friends/neighbours in the area to get feedback of a different and practices in the area as soon as you can

Good luck and you must insist in seeing a different doctor in the mean time, otherwise if you start stressing yourself about the situation it won't help you


Hi Selina firstly I would like to say thank you to the forum, hope you make fantastic friends as I have...

Also, from reading your post I can say I am slightly shocked to hear about what your GP is doing, and it is all well and good him saying he thinks it is ""psycological* but there is no good just saying it, he kind of neeeds to act on it also. As well as this, if he thinks there is more that meets the eye to your asthma, have they considered refering you to a local chest consultant at your hospital who actual specalise in this sort of stuff!?

(ps, not sure if you have heard, but if you do become desperate on ventolin, asda are selling them over the counter - not sure on how it works though :D )

hope you get things sorted soon!!



Hi, this is awful i cant believe your gp is restricting life saving meds without sending you to a specialist to help control your symptoms. I dont know how a dr can say its phycological because your airwways are permanently narrowed with COPD (im not a medical professional & i know this). i've been very lucky with my gps when they had no idea how 2 control my shmptoms they sent me to hospital & refered me 2 a chest consultant, however i did have problems getting a flow up appointment with the chest clinic which meant i went downhill & was in & out of hospital for 5 months so i made a complaint & got an appointment very quickly & investagated the problem which lead to the appointments system changing. Go on to the nhs website and look for putting things right, this will tell you how to complain to your LHB. Good luck


when my doctor gave me a reliever inhaler he said I wouldn`t need a preventer inhaler

so I made an appointment to see the surgery asthma nurse and I asked her for the reliever and she gave me a prescription for one straight away

she knows more about asthma than the gp does

good luck


I have recently been informed it is the policy of my G.P surgery to only give 4 Ventolin inhalers per year I think it is terible at may put people's health life at risk


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