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Upping preventer - how long should it take to do something?

Sorry in advance if this becomes a rant/ramble/both! You have been warned...

So I started in April on 2x2 daily of Symbicort 400/12. Which was working fairly well, but I kept getting colds which threw off the control I'd got and going up to 3x2 - then every time I went back to 2 something happened (cold, big trigger etc). So I asked the specialist nurse at the Brompton if I could try 3x2 more permanently - because it did seem to calm things down - and he was fine with that.

I've been on the 3x2 a few weeks now but so far things haven't improved, they've actually got worse! I think I know why right now (I had a couple of days working with formaldehyde plus some incense on top) but it wasn't back at its best even before then when I couldn't see a particular reason for it.

Am I just being massively impatient (as per usual lol) and I need to wait longer? It just seems like usually I would expect to see more of a result by now judging by past experiences, even if it's just limiting/containing the effect of triggers, but while they're not at their absolute worst by any means, the airbags are not behaving that well.

Has anyone else had this with Symbicort, or with other combo meds? I do have my 'local' cons next week but I'm not sure what he's going to say esp as the challenge test was negative - am a bit worried we're going to be back to 'you're just thinking about it too much'.

Am reasonably sure what's going on atm is actually asthma (mainly) and not the massively confusing 'upper airway issues' the RBH were talking about - a) because the reliever does actually deal with the symptoms, they're just worse and it doesn't last long and b) RBH seem pretty sure I only get those symptoms during exercise; have been told several times that side of things is fine otherwise, and I'm certainly getting current symptoms without needing to exercise - though exercising is harder.

Just trying to get things sorted in my head really, and wondering if I'm being massively impatient - but my cons usually asks how things have been going, and I was thinking that the answer to that has really been 'nowhere very much' whereas I'd kind of been hoping for 'in the right direction' at least!

2 Replies

Hi Philomela,

I was told it could take up to 6 weeks.

I must say for me symbicort doesn't really help as a reliever on its own but i take it with my salbutamol it kind of extends the time between me needing more blue.

I think its time for them to try something else as you've been on it a while now.



Thanks Angelica! Sorry, just realised that may have been confusing... I don't take it as a reliever but like you say it does - or should - extend the time between reliever puffs.

I guess I'm just puzzled because it used to work fairly well, and would kick in sooner and help stop colds etc from getting too bad, but it's not doing it so well anymore! I know I've got the best control I've ever had on it, but it never lasts long. I'd have thought it should be less than 6 weeks to notice a difference between 2x2 and 2x3 when it only took 3 weeks to kick in from nothing, which is why I don't get what's going on.

I just have to persuade them that it really isn't properly controlled and can they please at least consider other options. RBH have said to come in when I'm bad with a cold/infection (which has at least had the bonus that I've not had one since lol - sod's law in action!), but tbh it's more the up/down variability than specific bad episodes.


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