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Which inhaler?


Just thought I would ask this question just in case I can not get it resolved tomorrow, I then will hopefully have some replies as to what I should do next.

So 2 weeks ago I went to a GP for a 'emergency' (same day because of worsening symptoms or peak flow) appointment. I did have a cold the week before but was quite impressed bu how keeping with what was my current preventer had worked when all other colds since I have had asthma I had to go back to the GP, however as the cold was ending my peak flow dropped 450 to 350 in 48 hours and I was still coughing up slime despite the other symptoms of cold mostly gone (like blocked nose, headache just generally feeling rubbish) I assumed that it was just taking longer to clear because of asthma which I have not had very long and it would be fine. But a week later and my peak flow was still below 350 still with the cough so I realized a doctor was needed and explained that all to him.

He decided to increase the strength of my preventer temporarily and told me as soon as my peak flow went back up to go back to the lower dose. And that if this happens in the future I should use the higher dose below 380 and then do not need to go to a doctor until it gets below 250, which should not ever happen. I am not sure completely about that, yes I do not think it will ever get that low but does that mean I am never allowed to go to a doctor if things are getting worse because my peak flow is okay?

Anyway, last week I re-ordered the lower strength one realizing it was nearly Christmas when everything will be closed and my medication for other things was running out, I usually order it all at the same time and wanted to have enough for the holidays. the ordering is all done online, I have all my medicines typed in and tick the ones I need, so not changing the strength or anything I re-ticked the old lower strength one as part of the order. I went to collect it all but found I had been given the higher strength one. I went back to the pharmacy who said that because it was online their is nothing they can do and that somewhere a button must have been clicked wrong and I need to check with the doctor. I know my order was for the right one because it was the same as I have always ordered so the doctor must have not been clear that the higher strength was temporary and that I should be allowed to order the lower strength still.

I now have only 4.5 days left of the lower strength which therefore will end half way thorough Friday/Boxing day when clearly everywhere will be closed. My plan is to contact the doctors tomorrow and hope. But I know they are not issuing appointments as I tried last week for one for medicine for another condition I knew I could not re-order without an appointment. Reception said to re-order so I am not hopeful of getting a prescription never mind the medicine which also ends this week but that is a separate problem! Basically, It is very unlikely that I will get a inhaler so what am I supposed to do?

When my usual strength runs out I have these options

1) take no preventer (possibly end up in A&E with an asthma attack..)

2) take the higher strength one (do not want to take more than I need, also I am getting mouth problems with it which have still not gone)

3) take half the amount of the higher strength one, so 1 puff morning and night and not the two I am always on for both strengths.

Is number 3 sensible? It is I think the most sensible option of those 3 but is it okay for me to do that? or is their anything else I could do?

Hope for some help with this


3 Replies

Before i start i am NOT in any way medically trained, i'm just an asthmatic of 25+ years

Has your peak flow gone back to normal now? Is it time to go back to the lower dose?

Is it a steroid inhaler or a combination inhaler?

If it's a normal steroid inhaler (usually brown, red or orange) then i would say your 3rd option is the right thing to do if you can't get any clarification or any new inhalers from the doctor. Assuming it's a normal steroid inhaler you'll be getting exactly the same dose by taking one puff of a double strength as you would from 2 puffs of the lower strength.

I would also say definitely DO NOT take no preventer at all - you don't want to make yourself ill unnecessarily.

It sounds like you need to try and see your GP but good luck in the meantime



If you can't get any sense from doctor, I would do half dose of double strength or just use higher dose. It's only a few days so will be fine I'm sure (not a doctor obviously but if your peak flow was low you would so a few days will be ok I'd have thought?)


HI, thank you for replying.

I have a update, that I phoned the doctors (or it's the reception.. but anyway) who seemed to be able to look at my information on their computer and said a prescription for the lower strength would be given and ready to collect from the pharmacy in a few hours. All sounded very simple, easy and actually quite likely to happen. However I went to the pharmacy later on and they had not had the prescription. I have good news with my other medication and managed to collect that, just ordered the rest so I need to go back tomorrow anyway and then will hopefully get the inhaler by then, but am less confident now if the doctors has not done the prescription is their some problem with it?

Yes, my peak flow is back up and so I am now already using the lower does again.

It's not one of those and as you say a 'normal steroid inhaler'I was on those for a while but have now got a combination. It's Purple, Seretide if you know that one. I was on 25/125 and was given 25/250. I remember when the doctor gave me the bigger strength he said it is not exactly double what I was on before but it is close. The amounts of both of them I was prescribed to take was the same-2 puffs two times a day. So, I understand now that if I had to use the higher strength one, and took 1 puff 2 times a day I would not get exactly what I should get, but would It be closer than 2 puffs two times a day? Or, what would be the best to do?

I think seeing a GP would be the easiest option, but I think they must be really busy and are trying not to give appointments unless you need them. This other medication I had to order when I was given it I was given 1 month supply then had to see a GP again to see if it was working, and the order for that has happened fine and I have another 1 month of it without seeing a GP.

Thank you



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