DIY Asthma Treatment

I'm an American-born expat living in Lima, Peru. Here medicine is kind of a DIY endeavor and that's where I find myself.

When I arrived here, in 2004, my girlfriend was a recovering tuberculosis patient. At the end of her treatment period, the doctor checked her out along with me and the rest of her family. During the exam, he listened to my lungs and said that I might have ""principios de asma,"" meaning the commencement thereof. I gave it no thought. I had lived without any kind of asthma attack, asthma treatment, or asthma-related problems for 31 years in the U.S. What was there to worry about?

Fast forward a few years, and I had a serious breathing impairment. At the time I was part of EsSalud, kind of a government-run universal healthcare system. I went to the hospital, but I was too unable to breathe to even explain my situation. They sat me in the waiting room, but the others could see that I was suffering, so they got me into triage and the nurse put a pulse-ox on me and immediately rushed me back for treatment. I was nebulized and immediately felt right as rain. At that time I bought an inhaler, which is marked SALBUTAMOL 100 mcg/dose.

Recently I became sick. I started sneezing repeatedly. In fact, I sneezed over 50 times in a row! I don't think I've ever sneezed that many times in my life. After that, I began having problems breathing. I started using my inhaler every 30 minutes, but it wasn't helping at all. Since Monday was a holiday, I couldn't go to the hospital. I self-medicated with prednisona (20 mg / tablet, 2 tablets twice a day) and I have reduced this to 20 mg / day and plan to cut the pill in half tomorrow and have 10 mg and 10 mg to wean myself from the medication.

On Tuesday I was nebulized three separate times, but I don't feel that much better. I still have a good deal of phlegm in my bronchial tubes. I wonder whether I am really having an asthma episode as opposed to bronchitis.

I am interested in understanding the inhaler I am using. Is this a rescue / emergency inhaler? Is it a day-to-day inhaler? Do I need an emergency inhaler? I need to do this myself, and I need the best information I can get.

Links would be helpful.

1 Reply

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  • Living in Peru might just be the cause of your medical state. Peru is a long way above sea-level so I would not be surprised to hear that you now have breathing disorders. You definitely need to keep your windpipe and lungs expanded.

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