Problems with corticosteroid inhalers

Does anyone else have problems whereby the corticosteroid inhaler seems to make symptoms of chest tightness and mucous worse after a few days of use? I was diagnosed with late onset chronic asthma this year, though I also have some fixed obstruction and a peak flow of 300 instead of 500. My symptoms were constant colds in winter, varying chest tightness and mucous production. I can live with all that, though it would be nice to get rid of the colds (which have just started again with the cold weather). I was initially prescribed Spiriva, but found it made me very tired and dizzy; I'm now on my third corticosteroid inhaler, but concerned about the poor sleep it gives me and the fact that it seems to exacerbate my symptoms after a few days. It might help me (and my doctor!) if someone has had similar problems and has found a solution. I look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks.

5 Replies

  • I have heard of this before someone maybe on this forum saying they think that some of the propellants used in various inhalers irritated their lungs... maybe it's this?

  • Interesting thought - I'll look into that. Thanks for taking the trouble to reply

  • For what it is worth: I could never take Clenil Modulite without it making me cough, even with a spacer. I think I at some point in the past used Becotide for a while and that was fine - different propellant. Now I am on Symbicort and that has been fine for me. As someone else already said - check the propellant, that could be the problem.

  • Hi Superzob

    Your remarks / condition seems very simlar to my own. Apparently inhaled steroids take at lest 8 Weeks (maybe 3 months or longer in some cases) to demonstrate their worth.

    Certainly I concluded - like you - that the steroid in Clenil seems to be agrivating my chest. There are now several newer inhaled steroids, some of which have finer particles which are claimed to penertrate deeper into the lungs and - apparently - help more.

    For some folk, changing their Mono Steroid Inhaler (or Dual Inhaler if the steroid is combined with a LABA) 'every few months' until they find a formulation that works for them is the way to go.

    Be aware that, even once this has been achieved, you still need to record and watch your Peak Flow and other symptoms daily, as your body can - after a while - become less responsive to what you're taking, requiring a return to the beginning of the process and a temporary or permanent Meds 'switch' to test for improvement.

    Also, some people need extra strong steroid soseage (whether inhaled or in pill form) than others, so dosage size - as well as form (e.g. inhaled v oral steroids) may be an issue - though Oral Steroids are best avoided unless you really need them. Certain patients are steroid resistant and need to research and explore other treatments such as Biological Asthma Meds.

    Meds that work will also depend on accurate diagnosis. There are several closely related Respiratory Conditions and people who have not been accurately tested or assessed can end up being treated for the wrong one or be suffering from more than one of these related conditions - effective treatment for which may vary, e.g. Asthma / COPD Overlap (especially where smoking history is involved). Likewise, temporary chronic or chronic bronchitis etc. Sometimes the Meds will be the same for these conditions, but at other times a more specific targeted Med will be required.

  • Wheezycat and Matman - very helpful, I'll keep searching. Looks like I'm in for the long haul, but I guess it's the same for everyone!

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