I expect this has been asked before but do asthma preventative inhalers cause reflux (GERD). I was changed to Fostair Next inhaler a few months ago and I have felt breathless and tight chested since and keep burping and coughing. Thinking it was my asthma I went to the doctors and he said my chest is clear and it was reflux. I have been prescribed Lanzaprazole which he wants me to stop on long term but I am not happy about that. I have had reflux in the past but not as bad as this. It just seems to mimic asthma symptoms with the breathlessness and tight chest!

15 Replies

  • hi i have asthma and i take seretide and ventolin i have not had the side affects that u describe ask your doctor to change them tell him the symptoms your having if he wont see another doctor if the inhalers you are taking are making you worse its plain they dont suit you good luck see your doctor as soon as posssable or speak to him on the phone asthma is bad enough .take care ,

  • It's certainly true that reflux can cause symptoms that mimic those caused by asthma - I've had that problem in the past. I'm also well aware that it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between the two. My understanding is that Lansoprazole works by reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces (it's one of a class of drugs known as Proton pump inhibitors [PPIs]) so you definitely do not want to be taking it if your symptoms are not caused by reflux.

    I do suffer from reflux issues, but on the occasion that we do know that the reflux caused breathing difficulties there was a definite pattern to it that was atypical for my asthma. Firstly, the attacks of breathlessness came on within an hour of eating (about half an hour to an hour after I'd finished) and it was definitely worse after eating certain foods -anything that was fatty, for example. Secondly, I found that getting up and exercising (moving around/running on the spot etc) actually helped: I'm an exercise induced asthmatic - if the breathlessness was being caused by my asthma, exercising would have made it worse, not better.

    I currently use gaviscon advance for my reflux issues. That, combined with being careful about my diet and eating smaller portions seems to be keeping it under control at the moment. If your breathing problems are being caused by reflux, there are other things you can do to help: raise your bed head by six inches or so to help with reflux during the night; don't go to bed - or lie down - for at least three, preferably four hours after you have eaten; don't slouch, or bend over, for at least an hour after you have eaten, otherwise pressure will be placed on the sphincter muscle at the top of your stomach making reflux more likely to occur.

    There are quite a few people on this forum who have reported reflux issues, but there are a number of things that can cause it: being overweight; having a hiatus hernia; pregnancy; being hypermobile (slack collagen means the sphincter muscles won't always work as effectively as they should) - can all increase the likelihood of it occurring. I also wonder whether hormonal changes have an impact - menopause, for example, but that's my personal opinion.

    Hope this helps, Karjade:-)

  • Tks you, that really help

  • Personnally I think so..I think the steroid content and the alcohol content of both inhalers finally get to the frequent use of antibiotics or oral steroid tablets in my case. I never used to have acid reflux before and I now have to take omeprazole 20mg on a daily basis and it works so that's one more tablet in my med box..

    At the beginning when I was feeling at my best I stopped and saw if it was likely to come back and it did, now I can't be bothered any more. Doctors assure me that it is a protective measure as well so the acid doesn't give me oesophagitis for example so ok I'm no expert but I don't want to live in pain so as I say I pop in the pill first thing in the morning and forget all about it the rest of the day.

    Good luck x

  • I've had oesophagitis (it's not pleasant), but in my case it resulted from thrush in my oesophagus. The really interesting thing is that the very medication that I was given to help with reflux may have caused the thrush. It's a very rare side effect (and I stress the 'very' - lots and lots of people take lanzoprazole and never get this, so please don't panic people) but in my case there is a distinct possibility that the lanzoprazole (I think I was on 30mg daily) may have been, at the very least, a contributory factor - but I had been on the stuff for six weeks. The steroid inhalers were initially blamed until I pointed out that I had no history at all of oral and pharyngeal thrush:-).

  • Thank you so much people. I used to be on Seretide and was okay with that and did not suffer reflux but my doctor decided to take everyone off it as he said it had too many side effects! Whether it was the cost or not I don't know. However since then I have been changed three times to different inhalers and I thought I was okay on Fostair but apparently not! Thank you MaggieHP I will try your advice as it is so miserable having reflux as well as asthma. I am not sure about taking Lanzaprazole forever as you hear that you should only take these short term.

  • If you're not getting on with fostair, and your GP is adamant about the seretide, ask him about flixotide. Same steroid as seretide (fluticasone) but without the salmeterol.

  • I don't know about lanzaprazole is is the same as omeprazole? I read an article about them making those prompton meds more complex and it was giving more side effects.

    anyway as I mentioned before here somewhere there are 3 foods that can help you with digestive enzymes because you see the omeprazole family^^ tends to push back the acid into the bowel in fact, the acid doesnt disappear it just doesnt go up so high into our lungs and throat etc..

    So that's live yoghurt like the total fage you can buy at the supermarket or any type of probiotic yoghurt you fancy, then stewed apple, the natural pectin helps and porridge oats but cooked in water with a little honey I got used to it by now it makes a nice hot supper I found.

    Yes they pushed us on to Fostair because Seritide was too costly the GP told me something like £40 for a Fostair inhaler against £55 for Seretide..but I told him at the time it defeats the object coz I can take up to 8 puffs of Fostair a day so consume more although Seretide was doing the trick for 4 puffs a day..short term thinking on the part of th NHS I think..well now they have developed a Seretide generic you may want to ask for that.

    Bye for now xx

  • No, lanzoprazole is not the same as omeprazole. They're both PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) but they are not the same drug. I was initially tried on omeprazole but it caused appalling constipation so I came off it and was tried on lanzoprazole instead. Given the question mark over the latter with regards to the oesophageal thrush (and again I stress that that is a very rare side effect) I doubt that I will ever be put on more than a short course in future.

    Regarding how they work, PPIs work by reducing the amount of acid produced by the stomach. As far as I am aware, they do not relocate acid to another part of the of the gastrointestinal tract.

  • Hi Karjade I have g.e.r.d. I avoid wheat, citrus, tomatoes, onions, pineapple, and spicy foods. My mattress is raised by 7 inches ( I am going in for mountain climbing) do not just raise your pillow s as this can strain your neck.

    I did not know I had reflux, and now my vocal chords spasm . I take fostair but developed g.e.r.d before I was prescribed it. Good luck. ♥♥♥

  • Lanzaprazole is stronger than omeprazole I think. I have read about PPIs and side effects but I have also heard about people being on these for years without any problems. I also have glaucoma which I believe was caused by long term use of Flixonase steroid nasal sprays and not being reviewed so I am hesitant to take anything long term now. Thank you for your advice about diet and I intend to explore this. I have a hospital appointment at the Chest Clinic in May and I may wait until then to discuss it with my consultant xx

  • I used to use flixonase, but not on a regular basis. I only ever used it if I knew I was going to come into contact with a known allergen for me (eg. cats, cow parsley). I came off it a year or so ago and now use a combination of rinatec nasal spray (again taken only as required) and otrivine antistin eyedrops (likewise).

  • Thank you starveycat. I will definitely look into diet and especially wheat. I have looked into raising the bed and you can buy some cup things from Amazon you put underneath the bed to raise it. Thanks xx

  • I would never go on Flixonase again nor Beconase. When I have problems I use Rhinolast which is a antihistamine spray and no steroid. I use salt sprays as well to clear sinuses. I suffer with allergies and have been told to take antihistamine tablets daily but I just take them when I need them. I also have allergic asthma. We have three golden retrievers which I suppose does not help but can't get rid of them as luv them so much. We live near fields and lake in Northampton which is mainly countryside so unless we move and have no dogs I am going to stay the same so I have to find alternatives.

  • I had a problem with eyedrops - and boy did I need them. I started to get appallingly itchy eyes far too often about seven years ago (I still blame it on hormonal changes - I was almost certainly peri menopausal at the time). I'm sure a lot of people on this site will know the feeling; trying to resist rubbing your eyes because you know you'll end up with the snuffles and things will go downhill from there, but you still end up rubbing them anyway. I was put on eyedrops which had to be used every day in order to build up the protection. But there was a catch; after using them for three days or so my eyelids began to swell up: my eyes could not tolerate the eyedrops. So a rethink was required. One of my GPs did some research and discovered eyedrops that I could take as and when required, so I did not have to take them every day. The hope was that this would stop my eyes reacting. I've been on the eyedrops (otrivine antistin) for about four years now, and although I still get itchy eyes at times, the eyedrops do a good job as a reliever and, thus far, my eyes are tolerating them:-)

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