Reducing Symbicort

Following an asthma attack which landed me in hospital for a few days, I was told to take 8 puffs of symbicort daily for three months, before reducing. I reduced to 6 puffs daily successfully, but when down to 4 my chest started tingling etc. This could have been due to a cold that was so slight I wasn't 100% sure I had one. I was advised to go up to 6 again for another 4-6 weeks. Today I have started 4 puffs daily again. My question is how soon could the effect of reduced steroids show up? My common sense tells me a few days, but what is the general experience? I am new to this and so have no idea how my body is likely to react.

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  • Hi there which strength of Symbicort are you on? I'm on 400 taking x2 puffs twice a day. I think it takes a good few days/weeks to really settle as it's a long acting steroid etc but my asthma has been v odd this Autumn. This is 1st time I've ever taken Symbicort- usually I just have Clenil for couple weeks or so this time of yr and everything settles. Had chest infection in Sep so think that set everything back and latest dr sent me for Chest X-ray (all fine) put me on oral steroid for wk and then x2 puffs twice a day on 400 'til end of yr! Says I should be able to go down to 200 version in New Year ( I was taking the 200 x2 puffs twice a day but this latest dr upped me to the 400 version) I don't like taking meds particularly esp steroids, I've had indigestion feeling with it (dr given me indigestion meds) plus now see a bit of thrush in back of throat (I always gargle really well & use mouth wash when I need to which does help & eating 'live' yoghurt!) I'm sure it's given me tinnitus as well. I would rather be on lower dose now but I did try having 1 puff (rather than 2) one part of day and I'm not sure if it was coincidence 'cos of cold weather but chest felt bit dodge again so went back to doing x2 puffs twice a day. I'm just a bit miffed as to why my asthma worse this year? And don't know half the time if once you start on Symbicort if your body kind of gets used to the meds and therefore it's tricky to wean yourself off it?! The steroids gave me indigestion and indigestion can give you asthma symptoms- talk about going round in circles!! I hope things settle for you - I'm thinking I may need to see dr again just to get reassurance doing appropriate thing so maybe that's your best idea? Basically I will be glad when things settle properly and I don't need to take Symbicort at all! But I must say I've had to use blue inhaler v little since being on it - but I reckon it took approx couple weeks to settles for me. Good luck 😊

  • Hi Wrighty103, I am on 200/6, so as I was taking 8 puffs daily (2x4) I was on the same dose as you are now. I was told in no uncertain terms, after my asthma attack in June, to stay at that level for three months. Since yesterday I am taking 4 puffs daily (2x2) , that would be the same as 2 puffs per day of your inhaler. I have no idea why I haven't been given the bigger size inhaler - I think price wise it makes no difference. My GP does not want me to go lower than what I am on now before my next annual review or so, and that is in April. I was on Clenil before all this started, and with hindsight I can see that my asthma is much better, as some symptoms that I basically ignored before, like coughing in the night (have done for years and years) have gone, except very occasionally. I am doing very well on this - except for bouts of oral thrush in spite of rinsing etc. My greatest anxiety is getting colds, but I don't yet know if other things also could trigger problems, like the current weather? I think I feel it a bit, or am I imagining things? I peakflow to within an inch of my life, to have a good objective measure how it is all going. I am glad to be on symbicort as it works well for me. Clenil invariably made me cough even with a spacer, so I don't want to be back on that, not that anyone is suggesting it. And, by the way, I have never had asthma like it has been this last year before. It was a nasty little virus that pushed my asthma over the edge.

  • Hi Wheezycat that's interesting that a virus triggered your asthma this year, I do think a stressful few weeks back in Sep & the chest infection must've triggered mine. Out of interest how do you get rid of the oral thrush when u get it? Funny enough I was on x2 twice a day on 200 then that was upped to x4 twice a day on 200 before latest dr swapped it to x2 twice a day on 400 - it does make more sense to have 'stronger' inhaler I guess as doing x4 puffs is a bit tedious! I'm hoping I can go down to X1 twice a day on 400 -equivalent of what you're doing now. I suppose I need to be patient and persevere with it for a while longer at least while it's so cold. I just can't imagine being off all the meds at mo which I'm not used to - roll on the spring!! I def have more respect for asthma now than I did - but when it flares up it's hard to accept what's happening when I ususally have very litttle hassle with it.

  • Hi Wheezycat Been taking strong probiotic capsules for 2 years; no chest infections in that time & cured chronic asthma miracle at 72 after 40 years on meds.

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