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This is NOT a suggestion nor a recommendation, but during 2 recent severe asthma attacks (when my salbutamol and Clenil Inhalers were of hardly any benefit) I remembered that - when I was a young kid (before modern asthma medications were around) my GP prescribed ephedrine. Now, because at the time of my recent attacks, I also had severe nasal congestion, I took a decongestant version of Sudafed. (Important: I believe some versions of Sudafed may NOT contain pseudo ephedrine, but might contain other drugs that you might need to avoid, so always ask the pharmacist and read the label). An hour or two later my breathing was very much improved. I then found a useful reference to pseudo ephedrine and asthma near the end of a very helpful article (a link to which I've included below). CAUTION. Pseudo Ephedrine is NOT suitable for people with certain conditions, and can be dangerous for folk with those conditions. It can also be dangerous for people on certain medications. Please therefore do your own research and check first with your own Doctor if you are tempted by this drug which is available in several over-the-counter medications in the UK. I'm NOT a Medical Professional, so do, pease be 'very' careful.

5 Replies

Thank you for sharing this information.


YES! I had ephedrine from 1934 to well into the 50's; it always worked for me, when I mentioned it to my GP quite recently she had never heard of it! I see ephedrine tablets are still available for broncho-spasm.


That's an interestinh article but I agree that the advice about alternative remedies needs to be regarded with caution. I have not scrutinised the article fully but notice that chamomile is suggested for it's antihistamine properties but I have read elsewhere warnings that chamomile is possible trigger for asthma and should be avoided and indeed some people can have allergies to chamomile and related species.

Pseudoephedrine is restricted in several countries - this may be because it can be used to make speed but that seems rather bizarre. It's a shame we can't get ma huang tea but people have tended to die from ephdra abuse.

Phenylephrine (I may have mis-remembered the name) is the safer alternative found in off=the=shelf sudafed etc but I don't know if it compares for asthma, in any case they're not intended for such use and if taken frequently will cause a nasty condition known as rebound congestion.

Being a coffee addict I have yet to kill myself with caffeine though it has happened to others but thankfully caffeine containing drinks are legal these days (coffee has been banned occasionally in its civilised history) and they reckon we have at least eighty more years before disease wipes out Coffea as an agricultural species.

I do believe, as that article suggests, that caffeine is beneficial for asthma, though sadly it can bring side effects and addiction. (and greater enthusiasm for music).

Interestingly coffee has a protective effect on the lungs of smokers and smoking increases one's tolerance of caffeine thus leading to increased consumption of coffee by smokers.

Irrelevantly, smokers should wash their hands before doing any chili gardening because of the risk of the Tobacco Mosaic Virus to the Capsicum genus. (too much cofffee these last couple of days).



I find this interesting because a while ago I had a really bad asthma attack and nebs weren't helping much so they gave me nebulized adrenaline which actually really helped



I take two pseudoephedrines a day for sinus pain. I haven't had as many sinus infections, but I still get the occasional headaches from sinus pressure. I don't think it makes a difference to my asthma except that my asthma is worse when I am ill and the pseudoephedrine keeps me from being ill so much. I do think it's uses should be looked into more. :-)


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