Asthma Complications

I was wondering if any other asthma sufferers were getting any problems with their asthma treatment; that it they do not seem to be working. I have been taking drugs for asthma for many years and took Intal Co (compound of Isoprenaline Sulphate and Sodium Cromoglycate) when I was younger. From a wheezing wimp to almost athletic ability in most sports, just from using this drug. I probably took Intal from around 1972 to possible 1996, when i was informed that the drug would no longer be made and was being discontinued. Oh Great! Some of the drugs I had used for asthma pre intal did not work and worse still had side affects which made things much worse, such as hallucinations. Great fun when you are a child in bed.

When Intal was discontinued for a period of around 5 years, much trial and error and many different doctors, I found a drug that worked called a Fostair Inhaler. This was by no means perfect but it kept away asthma attacks provided I kept rigorously to the stated dose, which I did. Somewhere along the line I picked up a further tag of having asthma along with COPD, which sound like some kind of venereal disease, and I am not sensing that asthma researchers are progressing in the right direction. For me asthma was essentially cured in 1972 now I have to religiously take this drug twice a day and provided I do not exercise everything is OK. What is going on?

To add insult to injury I now find that Fostair is not working, after taking it for around 15 years. I wonder if I am being given placebos or maybe the dose is reduced without my knowledge or whatever.

I am starting to sense that treatment for asthma is returning to the 1960's and 70's where asthma was seen a problem of the mind and not a actual disease. This for me meant that it was OK for the games teacher to send me on cross country running along with the rest of the class, me knowing full well that it would bring on a asthma attack and I would not be able to complete the run (this could also have more serious side effects as a friend of mine with asthma died on the very same runs). it was much the same for every sport I was forced to do. I now see that so called experts are stating on the internet that people with asthma respond well to placebos.

Hence my interest in your prescription for asthma, and if they still work?

9 Replies

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  • I am prescripted seretide 125mg 2 puffs a day, monkelaust 10mg and presinolone for asthma attack. Having only gone on to this regime in the last 3 wks as my asthma got worse again due to the weather. I was on a higher dose of seretide 250mg twice a day. Last winter for 3 months after my first every asthma attack. Now on attack no 4 after one in september and one three weeks later.

    I am blessed with a very good asthma nurse and surgery where I can if necessary stand on the door step (five minutes walk from my house) to get an appointment.

    What I have learnt is stick to your asthma plan, ring asthma uk helpline (very helpful if you want good sound advice) and work with your doctors. Also keep learning what works for one won't necessary work for another. There are alot of inhalers out there. Some suit others while others don't got put on a different inhaler it made me unable to sleep. I think continually of care is very important one doctor may be better than another in the same surgery.

    Off back to the doctor's tomorrow to get another appointment after this asthma attack.

    Its hard sometimes when you just want to live a normal life. I hope and pray this post has been helpful. There will be other replies too.

  • I have had ventolin, qvar,symbicort and now fostair. Fostair is ok as long as I do not do anything strenuous- but I still wheeze nonetheless.

    If I want to exercise I need prednisolone- the fostair is not up to the job. For obvious reasons my GP is unwilling to give me pred regularly.

    I did an hours kickboxing tonight - it killed me - the warm up is worst part. They say exercise is good for asthma but I am starting to think of the strain it must put on your heart.

  • Interesting, it sounds like you have similar type of asthma to myself. I think that asthma covers a great many breathing complaints, but, presumable some are similar to others. When I think about problems of training with asthma I think of Steve Ovett a great middle distance around the early 1980’s who collapsed at the LA games:

    “The pollution in LA had brought back asthma that I hadn't suffered for 20 years. It was as if someone was stuffing a rag down my throat; I couldn't get enough oxygen to breathe. My body just shut down, just as Paula's did during the marathon”.

    He was speaking about Paula Radcliffe who also collapsed during the Olympics with breathing problem. They both suffered complications of the heart.

    I myself get problems breathing when I exert myself. Without medication I can have a full asthma attack, in as little as 10 minutes, when say, jogging. I used to push myself to the limit hoping/wondering if I would pass through some barrier and the asthma affects would go – but they never did. I did have many years which I consider asthma free, between 1972 and 1996 when I took Intal Co (long ago discontinued) ,which I took when I needed it: - that is when a asthma attack threatens or when training. Now with Fostair I am forced to take it every day, with the daily knowledge that I still have asthma. Like yourself I have tried many of the latest drugs on offer, which simple did not work or gave me an irritated throat as well as not working. If “Intal Co” ever came back on the market I could not tell you the speed with which I would throw this these overpriced inhaler things into the waste bin. But, even taking Fostair is better than having asthma.

  • Just a thought. Could it be that the copd is progressing? Have you done a spirometery lately?

  • I was diagnosed as a child with Bronchial Asthma. This now seems to have changed to Asthma with COPD. The symtoms I had as a child and young adult, were very specific:

    1. Mild but permanent headache.

    2. Increasingly prolonged bouts of coughing with phlegm.

    3. Increased wheezing, which becomes obvious to people around me.

    4. Get ready for a full blown asthma attack, which could be a week or an hour away.

    If these are the symtoms of COPD then you could be correct. All I know is that stage 4 has not occured since I have been taking Fostair, and I have reduced my exercise to almost nill.

  • Like you, as a child I was put on Intal Co (in 1969). In my case I was switched on to something else in the late 1980s when it no longer seemed to be so effective. It took a further ten years before I was out on something that controlled it as well. I was put on flixotide in the late 1990s and it's doing a good job. Admitted I can't do a lot of aerobic exercise (so running much more than a hundred metres is likely to cause issues, but that was also true when I was on Intal Co). I have ventolin as well but I rarely need to take it.

    It's a case of finding the right medication for you. Recently there was a suggestion that I switch to Fostair; I dug my heels in and refused point blank. My asthma is well controlled on the flixotide so leave it alone. What was more, Fostair uses beclometasone. I was put on becotide (also beclometasone) after I came off Intal Co. It never controlled my asthma properly. I had no intention of going back on a steroid that had not been fully effective in the past.

    If the Fostair isn't working, ask to be put on something else. As others have said, there are a lot of different asthma medications out there now. It's a case of finding something that works for you.

  • Intal Co was an interesting drug. The doctors started to fear it because it contained Isoprenaline, which raised concern over its affect on heart and blood pressure. One year after I was put on Intal Co, I was taken of it and given Intal on its own, without the isoprenaline. My complaints led nowhere and I was stuck with Intal , which did nothing for my asthma. Luckily, I managed to get Intal Co at the repeat prescription desk and simple used one of the other doctors. This was possible in those days in a large practice. I then had many years in which I considered myself free of asthma, and just as important to me, could train myself to any degree of fitness in any desired sport I chose to do.

    It was a shock when I found that Intal Co was being discontinued and a greater shock when I found that the so called superior modern drugs did nothing for my asthma and I considered myself a asthmatic again. Still do. Fostair, is the best of the bunch that I have tried, but, I do not seem to have any free energy and feel strange when i try even moderate physical training. Once when taking a medical for people who may be required to wear a respirator, I was told I had the lung capacity of a child. Umm a bit worrying, cannot remember if I was taking Fostair at this time, but, definitely one of these modern drugs.

    I often wonder what it was that made Intal Co so special. I only needed to use the inhaler before any training session or at the onset of a asthma attack. It didn’t matter if I had a attack, simple take the drug and the next day everything is back to normal. The first thing I tried when Intal Co was discontinued was Isoprenaline and Cromoglycate inhalers, which I tried one after the other. Absolutely no affect. Well short of making Intal Co myself I will have to stick with the modern drugs.

  • I have to admit that although Intal Co did help me to control my asthma, at no stage did I reach a point where I could take it as and when required. I had to take it on a daily basis to keep my asthma controlled, something that is also true with my current medication. The relief I got from it when having an attack was fantastic and, to my mind, superior in efficiency to ventolin. However, I did have a side effect from it. If I took it to relieve an attack I always ended up with a thumping headache for about five minutes - the more severe the attack, the worse the headache was. I once mentioned this to a retired consultant cardiologist, who was not at all surprised. If I recall correctly, it was the isoprenaline component that was to blame for it.

    It's worth remembering that asthma status can change over the years. Even if you were given the chance to take Intal Co now there is no guarantee that it would be as effective as it was back in 1996.

  • Unfortunately, I will never find out. After reading most of this site I have come to one conclusion. My tax dodging ex PM, has set his henchmen on the asthma community. You did well to keep Flixotide it seems Fostair is the drug of choice for the asthmatic minions. It’s cheaper than most, but still I suspect, a very profitable product for the supplier. Especially, the sugary ones.

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