Reaching out there

Hi All

I am 38 years old guy, diagnosed with severe Asthma over a year ago. It was a difficult experience as it took a number of weeks to diagnose it. This was based on the failure of my first test, which was negative and after which I was undergoing a number of different examinations.

My problem was a constant cough. No attacks. No problems with sleeping. Just coughing. Endless and tiring.

I ended up at a respiratory specialist who advised me on taking Symbicort 200, one dose x 2 a day. Everything got better within 3 to 5 days. Miracle. I have then however stopped taking Symbicort after 6 weeks. Asthma came back around 12th week and was more difficult to tame it with Symbicort. It took 3 weeks to feel better, so I was taking it for about 3 months altogether and then stopped again. Asthma came back again a month ago. I take Symbicort since then, 1 dose in the morning and 2 doses in the evening, but its not getting any better. Same story, I sleep without any problems, I don't have any attacks, but my voice is husky, I am coughing terribly and my QOL is very bad. So angry. Overwhelmed.

Writing this is my first step of reaching out to the world and trying to put myself together.

I don't know. Maybe there are similar stories. Or good advises?

Thanks a lot!

17 Replies

  • Welcome to the forums.

    Is it the doctors recommendation that you are stopping the inhalers or your own personal choice to stop them?

  • It was my own decision. I guess I couldn't accept that and just wanted to be stronger than Asthma. Learning all this!

  • Yes it is definitely hard to accept at times especially if you've been generally fit and well, but you need to take you inhaler as prescribed otherwise it won't help.

    If your cough continues to persist then you might need to go back to the doctors.

  • Hi. Welcome. The thing about asthma is that it is a lifelong condition. Although you may be able to reduce the dosage of maintenance medication like symbicort once you are not coughing all the time, you cannot stop it - very few people are lucky enough to manage without daily maintenance inhalers. You will find a dosage that controls the cough and allows you to feel better than you are doing. Stopping your maintenance medication could lead to an attack though.

    I suggest you need to make an appointment with an asthma nurse, GP or ring Asthma UK for some advice.

    Symbicort is a dry powder inhaler and it is important to rinse your mouth and spit after using it. This is also a wise idea with your blue "rescue" inhaler (if you have one..did they say you were on Symbicort Smart Regime?) If you are still finding the husky voice a problem there are other inhalers they could try.

    Best of luck getting your cough under control and hopefully you won't have an attack!

  • You need to take the inhaler every day. I take the four doses morning, lunch, tea, night. However I've had asthma all my life and I think as your quite new to this take 2 puffs morning and same night as it's supposed to work min 12 hours. Ensure you techniques are correct, breath out before and deep breath in when you twist once and hear the click you take a deep breath in and hold ur breath for up to 10 seconds then repeat. I nip my nose to hold my breath. Rinsing ur mouth just prevents oral thrush but you need to focus on techniques, taking it regularly and hopefully you have a Ventolin reliever which I have to take a few times a day which my respiratory team know but I'm long term asthmatic and under respiratory consultant. If Symbicort doesn't work there are others like seretide but if give it a couple of months but as I've said. I'm coughing more than ever recently and don't know why so several of us have this. Look on you tube for physio breathing exercises.

  • Thanks. So maybe the problem is that I take 1 puff in the morning and 2 puffs in the evening. Will start doing 2 times x 2 puffs. Lets see. Today Im going to see my new GP although not sure how good GPs are with Asthma. Argghhh!

  • 2puffs twice a day so 2 on a morning and 2 evening as long as it's 4 over the day. As I said I do it once at each meal but you should stick to 2 puffs breakfast and 2 puffs night while you get used to it all.

  • Hi yes I agree totally with the others. Symbicort is a preventer inhaler which needs (unless advised otherwise by a medial professional) to be taken daily as prescribed. It also has an accumulative effect. Most asthmatics and especially severe ones have to take meds for life to keep their asthma under control. Stopping them is pointless if you want to breathe properly and cough a lot less. If you are having problems with the symbicort ther are other preventer ones available so you need to make an appointment with your nurse/doctor. x

  • which is the origin of your asthma?

  • I don't know. Is it actually possible to find out the origin?

  • Most asthma is of allergic origin but not all.

  • Hi Grzegorz. How did you get on at the doctors? Hopefully you have some more information now about use of your symbicort and will start to feel better again soon. Seriously, most of us can lead a normal life with asthma as long as we take our medication! Some of us take a bit of trial and error to find the right type of inhaler for us, and the right dosage that will keep us controlled without symptoms but you will get there!

  • Hi Jenhcat! Thanks. I saw my GP yesterday. He just advised me on increasing my regime to 2 puffs x 2 times a day. So nothing special. I need to give it a try obviously. I feel like a child. What is the max number of puffs in one go? Just thinking if I will need to increase it again at some point.

  • Sorry to hear that you have had such a hard time of it, i take symbicort thisis a steroid inhaler which i find effective for me i take it 3 times a day 2 puffs this has increased over the years but it important to continue to take it regularly and not make the mistake of stopping when you feel better as this is your preventer and normally you would have a reliever like ventoline / salbutomal as you have discovered the problems just come back with a vengeance when you stop using your medication . stick with it , good luck hopefully things will get back to normal what ever that is lol ,

  • Thanks! I understand now I was simply naïve believing in overcoming it. I am just learning and accepting the reality I guess.

  • Hi Grzegorz, you definitely need to take your preventive inhaler religiously no matter how good you feel. I made the mistake a couple of years ago of thinking I didn't need my preventer as I was symptom free.......wrong move! My asthma flared up badly and I learned the hard way. No matter how great you feel, keep taking the preventer as that's what's keeping you feeling well. Use your reliever when you have an attack but continue with your preventer no matter how good you feel. I wasn't diagnosed with asthma until I was about 50 and had to get used to the fact that this was a condition I was going to have for the rest of my life and I would have to accept it and live by its rules.

    Best of luck.

  • Thank you! Yes, I guess the tough part is to accept it as silly as it sounds. Its my first disease so even if its not a major one its still difficult for me to deal with it. Im learning though.

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