Confused about different strengths of Asthma Medications?!!


Really random post!!

I have been suspected of having asthma for years, and have had a blue reliever inhaler for when necessary, which has usually been when its cold, when I'm ill or during hayfever times - most of the year then :-/

Anyway since September I have had constant chest infections, which have brought on really bad asthma attacks, which have seen me hospitalised on Oxygen, Salbutamol and Atrovent Nebs - and I've finally got an official Asthma diagnosis - don't know how its been missed really as PFV has varied by around 250 at times - 520 at best at absolute worse (in hospital 250)!

The GP after first admission put me on QVAR 100, which didn't seem to make any difference, even after a 3 month period. I was admitted again last thursday and kept in over night due to PFV etc, given 50mg Prednisolone and 1500mg Amoxycillin daily (both for 8 days), and advised to have a follow up GP appointment to discuss being put on seretide - a combination drug, which I have done. The Salmaterol in this already seems to be having an impact, though I am aware the Fluctiasone in it will take time to ""kick in"".

My question is, are the drugs that I am on much more potent than just the Beclomethasone/salbutamol combination? If so will it have any negative health implications in the long run?

Since September I have been on antibiotics 5 times and prednisolone (varying from 30-50md per day) 3 times!!

Hope it gets under control soon!!

3 Replies

  • the beclamethasone part is equivalent to the fluticasone part in the seretide, it depends how many puffs you take and what strength it is (you might be able to work it out from here, but i dont have the boxes in front of me so not sure how much info you get

    the salmeterol is a long acting reliever so is a different type of drug to salbutamol and budesonide so its not really about being more 'potent' its just different. I personally didnt get any side effects from salmeterol other than being slightly tachy for a week or so after starting it. Ive also never heard of people reacting badly to it, reading the info leaflet might give an insight into that.

    with the fluticasone, there is a bit of a question mark at VERY high doses as to whether it could mess with your adrenal gland, meaning off VERY high doses (i think i was on 1000mg twice a day before anyone even mentioned it to me) you might not want to stop it suddenly (by reducing slowly, like with oral steroids, your body can start its own production up again) But inhaled steroids are so good as they specifically target the lungs which really reduces side effects, they are much better than pred as because its an oral steroid, it affects your whole body!

    the side effects you are more likely to experience are things like sore throat, hoarseness, thrush in your mouth and that sort of thing (as its hard to get meds into lungs without some going into the mouth) so thats why its best to use a spacer and then rince your mouth out after taking your inhaler.

    Hope you start feeling better on the seretide, I really got on well with it for a long time, i was never controlled on just a steroid inhaler. I know a lot of people who found it made all the difference, so fingers crossed for you :-)

  • ahh ok, thats fantastic, thank you!! I'm a real Science Geek (Science teacher :-) ) so look everything up. Its good to hear positive stories though!!

    The Seretide already seems to be helping - started it yesterday - not needed the blue as often as recently, and hoping that as infection goes that I wont have to use it :-)

    The Spacer advice brings me onto a second question though - my GP has given me an ""accuhaler"" so obviously it wont fit into a spacer. Should I ask for a MDI version?

    Cheers :-) x

  • If you are on seretide you can get this as a spray inhaler then can use it with the spacer, spacer is brilliant as you loose at least 10% of medication with just breathing in alone, you can speak to your asthma nurse at practice who should give you a change, hope this helps


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