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Any advice on when to take steroids?

Hi everyone. I had a cold last week and it has made my asthma worse. I am coughing up phlegm (white) and it's a bit harder to breathe. However, my peakflow is good.

The trouble is that I'm going on holiday tomorrow. I feel like my asthma isn't improving, but it's not getting much worse. I have a course of steroids and antibiotics from Dr in case I get worse. I am worried about flying. In my situation, would you take the steroids even if you felt like you weren't terrible? Have you ever flown with exacerbated asthma?


4 Replies

Have you been given any advice from the surgery about how to judge it, or just a general 'if you feel worse'? If the latter, then you'll be fine as the doctor probably trusts your judgement. Otherwise, I'd say as a rule of thumb if your peak flow is falling, or has settled in the region of approx. 70 - 80% of normal then it's not unreasonable to take them (but keep in mind that's just based on a former plan I had some years ago).

I think you should probably take a view that if the GP has given you them, s/he clearly thinks the risk of abuse is very low, so trust yourself & how you feel.

Flying gets discussed on here from time to time. As I understand it, there's no inherent risk from flying although the changing air pressure in the cabin may make your symptoms feel worse at times. Airlines have provision for people on oxygen to fly, so I guess it must be reasonably safe.

1 like

Hi it sounds like you are having an exacerbation without an infection. In this case just take your steroids. It is better to be safe then sorry. x


I would recommend cancelling vacation unless this is something you're used to doing.


Hi jamiepanic

You may have already left, but do call the Asthma UK helpline and speak to one or our nurses for advice if you haven't been able to talk to your GP or asthma nurse.

Also, as reiterated on the thread, here's a previous post with tips about travelling with asthma and taking medications on the plane healthunlocked.com/asthmauk...

Hope that helps,



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