Clenil modulite makes me cough

Hi

Sorry if this question has been asked and answered before, but since clenil is often used to treat cough an internet serach for this is not very easy!

I'm in the process of being diagnosed with asthma. I've been prescribed clenil, which I've been taking for the past 5 days. It seems to be helping although it hasn't yet raised my peak flow, which is what the nurse is expecting in order to confirm the diagnosis (early days, I know!) The thing is, when I take it I feel like coughing and it's quite hard to hold my breath in. Is this a common complaint? Is there anything I can do to help? The nurse checked my inhaler technique and told me to slow it down, which I have. I don't have this problem with ventolin, which I've used for the past couple of months. Cough is my main symptom, although I get wheezy and easily short of breath. Thanks for you help and ideas.

10 Replies

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  • Hi Ayla, and welcome!!

    Preventer inhalers (which Clenil is one type) take some time to build up their effects and so can take up to 6 weeks before they are fully effective so it might be some time before you notice a difference.

    I have sometimes found that taking an MDI inhaler (the press and inhale type) can sometimes cause me to cough and therefore not hold my breath long enough, the easiest way to prevent this is to take the medication with a spacer. You will need to ask the nurse/doctor for a prescription for this.

    A lot of people find that a cough is a main asthma symptom, in fact I have recently started a thread called 'asthma cough' you may find useful to read.

    Feel free to ask any more questions, I know when I was diagnosed in 2010, I had loads of questions, everyone on here is so welcoming and helpful, you get so much more information than your GP or asthma nurse can give you.

    Take care xxx

  • Thank you Butterfly, for your welcome and for the advice. I will see what I can sort out.

    I know it is very early days for me yet - but this has been plaguing me for the past 3 months. It all started with a virus but, while all other symptoms have gone, I am left with this cough. I had a look at your cough thread and yes, it sounds as though the two types of cough I have are the most common: the dry, tickly annoying one and the more mucosy one, even though I don't generally bring much up. I *think* the clenil is helping, as if I remember correctly, I only used ventolin once since I started (it's actually a week today) and even though I'm still coughing, I think it has reduced the intensity of the coughing fits. So I'm hopeful :)

    My peak flow didn't vary an awful lot before the clenil - between 350 and 400 and I know that in theory that's not too bad, but I've taken it during an attack, when I feel really tight chested, and it's still about 350. For the past few days, it has stabilised a bit more between 390 and 400 (apart from this morning, 360!) and I'm hoping it'll go up further.

  • I'm glad you feel as though things are improving on the Clenil, its certainly positive if you're not using the ventolin as often.

    I wouldn't worry too much about peak flow, they can give you a 'predicted' value, but quite often they bear no resemblance to your actual values! I think my predicted best is about 430 or something but my actual best is 570. Even while struggling I can get 500, yet other times I feel the same and get 300!! It's useful to monitor it to see if you get diurnal variation and if you see an improvement on medication, but it's not the only tool for diagnosis and management.

  • Oh really? I had the impression that peak flow was a more objective way to assess how the treatment is doing. The nurse did take into account that although my peak flow seems ok for my build, my pre-asthma peak flow could have been higher. She did imply though, that to get a firm diagnosis my peak flow should rise with treatment. So I can only hope that she'll take my symptoms into account too. She's the first person that took me seriously, all the GPs I saw before kept telling me it was a virus and it would pass. I had to be fairly insistent to get an appointment with her.

    By the way, I got a spacer today and used it already and it made all the difference, so thanks very much for mentioning it! I got it without a prescription, though. It would have been 85p cheaper with a prescription, but I thought that the hassle of actually getting one wasn't worth it ;)

  • Sorry, I don't think I explained myself too well. With peak flow, the actual number you get vs. that predicted isn't really relevant. What the nurse should be looking for is a) is there a difference between am and pm readings (the diurnal variation) as this can be indicative of asthma, and b) does the peak flow improve once taking the steroid inhaler.

    So when I was being diagnosed, my peak flow before any treatment was much higher than my predicted, however it looked like a set of sharks teeth jumping up and down between am and pm readings. Once I started on the steroid inhaler and montelukast, my peak flow increased and the line smoothed out with very little variation. When I have a flare up or my medication needs reviewing, my peak flow reduces (although the amount it varies can vary widely!) and the values become much more erratic. I know I should be taking note of my own advice here as my peak flow is bumbling around 300/400 when at best its normally 570 and is usually 520-550.

    I'm glad you've got yourself a spacer and that you're noticing an improvement already. My asthma nurse never advised me to use one either, but after getting advice off here, I asked her for one. I found the medication was much more effective in a spacer and it stopped the coughing from using the inhaler on its own. I also find if I use it for my ventolin too, the side effects I get are much less, but the effect of the ventolin is much better.

  • Oh ok, that does make sense. And I think that the nurse was taking that into account, although I'm not sure that my pre-treatment diurnal variation was that great.

    I had an attack last night, so got the chance to use ventolin with the spacer too and that also felt better. Although I'm not sure that I get the reduced side effects like you do, as I felt just as jittery as I do with it normally. It seemed to ease the attack more quickly though. The last few times I had used ventolin I wasn't getting that immediate relief that I got the first few times and that was a bit worrying, but last night, with the spacer, it was very quick and effective.

  • Yes, that makes sense, thanks Stray :)

  • I have had a cough for a while and was given the blue one to use when I needed to. This didn't make much difference so was given Clenil a fortnight ago. Since then my cough has gotten worse. Much worse to the point my chest hurts and ribs ache. Is this normal? I read that it can take a while to work but surely it shouldn't get worse?

  • This happened to me and I found out I had thrush, even though I rinsed well after use.

  • Yes, Clenil modulate can lead to irritation of the throat along with unexpected narrowing of the airways. Apart from this it can also lead to oral thrush, bruising, hoarse voice, depression, anxiety, and behavioural changes.