Changing to a cheaper inhaler

I have recently had a letter from my GP practise advising me that they are changing my inhaler from Seretide 250 to Flutiform. It actually states on the letter that they are changing it because Flutiform is cheaper. Seretide worked really well for me in controlling my asthma and I never had to use my reliever. It also took a long time to find one that suited me. I have started on Flutiform and already my asthma has de-stabilised - quite significantly. I am seeing my GP next week about this. Does anyone know if I can demand to stay on the Seretide, as I don't want to have to go through trying lots of different inhalers when I already know that Seretide works for me? Many thanks.

7 Replies

  • The steroid is the same in both inhalers, but the long-acting reliever is different. Certain long-acting relievers cause some people 'paradoxical bronchospasm' where they actually make your asthma worse - so you might not get on with the formeterol. Or it could be that you're reacting to the other ingredients in the inhaler - or just that the formeterol doesn't work for you as well as the salmeterol.

    How did you get on with your GP? I hope they were helpful?


  • I have been asthmatic all my life and have been stable for many years. I received a letter a few weeks ago saying that my inhaler was also changing to Flutiform from Seretide that I'd been on for a number of years. After a week my peak flow began to drop and I started back on the Seretide. Unfortuently it was too late and its resulted in me having a 10 day course of steroids and a week off work. As soon as I raised concerns with the doctors about the Flutiform not working for me I was changed back to Seretide. From what I have been reading it sounds like Flutiform is either the best inhaler ever or just doesn't work.

  • Its awful to see Drs changing patients inhalers to cheaper ones. Even though the steroid is the same the long acting beta agonist is different and this can make a huge difference. Especially if you have been well controlled on the Seretide. It is an expensive inhaler but in the long wrong may well be a cheaper option if it keeps you well. Switching inhaler has caused you to be more symptomatic and will need to see a GP etc so actually costing the practice more.

    Its horrible to see all this cost savings at the expense of the patient. If you are well managed on something they should not switch it up.

    Can you go back to your GP and ask to be put back on Seretide as you are more symptomatic on the Flutiform? I hope they can do this and you can start feeling better again.


  • I'm less than impressed that this sort of thing is going on. If you are on an asthma medication that works for you, you should push to stay on it. What others have written on here is right, different long acting relievers work for different people. I've learned that the hard way.

    Certainly you shouldn't switch without consulting with your GP first. The thing that really worries me is that some people may not think to do that, switch to medication that is not as suitable for them and end up on oral steroids or, even worse, in hospital as a result.

  • I've been on Seretide for years, so when I was told about a year ago that I'd have to change to Flutiform I was worried, and decided I'd try it for a few days, but demand my usual inhaler back if I had any problems. I admit I was pretty certain I would have problems. But the Flutiform has been amazing. My lungs opened up better straight away, as soon as I used it, and I've had no wheezing at all. In fact, for the first time in years, instead of thinking twice before going for a walk because I dreaded that tight feeling in my chest, and was always aware even when at home that I was slightly wheezy all the time, I now walk as far as I want, never use my ventolin, and have stopped even thinking about breathing. It just happens. Totally life changing. I no longer feel asthmatic, after decades of struggling and constant battles with acute asthma attacks. It may not work the same for you, but don't just write it off without trying. I nearly did, and I would still be struggling through.

  • I'm being moved off of Seretide onto a cheaper inhaler called AirFluSal or something. Has anyone heard of this?

  • I can see why they'd want to change to a cheaper one. My asthma nurse told me that seretide 250 cost them £60 per inhaler, where as salbutamol is about £3 each. She did try swapping me to other preventatives a few years ago, but seretide is the one that works best for me. Hoping you get some relief either way x

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