Switching inhalers instead of adding things - wondering about options

Saw my consultant yesterday. I was about to get discharged with 'just keep on taking the medication'. Luckily he is v good, really knows his stuff and tends to get things right with me now he knows me better. So he took me seriously when I said I didn't feel it was controlled because I can't keep control when I get it and things are a bit up and down.

He said limited options (and asked me again if I've been in hospital with it - answer is no which I suspect he thinks is odd given it's such a pain to keep controlled and I can see why, but apparently my lungs like puzzling people).

The current plan is: 40mg of pred for 3 weeks max until I feel I'm getting consistently good days, see him again in two months to see if that's got things under control and kept them there.

If not, he said he really wasn't sure what the options were. He mentioned Xolair as a possibility - my IgE is too high atm but he would measure it again if Xolair were going to be a possibility. However, this seems odd to me as I always thought that was only for people with lots of admissions and severe asthma!

I stupidly forgot to ask (I never think of these things till later) but I guess I'm wondering whether there's anything else I should at least be asking about, because Xolair seems like it would be a long shot getting funding etc. eg other non-steroid things (theophylline? I should have asked why he didn't think that was an option as he will have had one), and would switching around eg Seretide instead of Symbicort, or adding more inhaled steroid eg fluticasone as well as the budesonide in Symbicort) make any difference?

Obviously I'm hoping I won't need to ask any of this because the pred will work, but if it doesn't I want to be prepared for my next appt and know what to ask - so anyone else's experience/knowledge would be good, though I know it can't replace professional advice!


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