Asthma UK community forum

Fostair versus Seretide?

I have, over the last 8 weeks, been struggling, like so many on here with a major exacerbation. The GP's have been valliant in their attempts to control it 2 changes of inhalers(to flutiform and symbicort) neither of which worked 2 courses of steriods one I am just tapering (down to 1mg) from now. Added montelukast and carbonistene also omprazole. I was told to stop the montelukast because it didn't work.

I saw the consultant (paid for privately!) on Wednesday and he suggested a change of inhaler to Fostair MART from Seretide.

Although I have been having a very tough time lately Seretide has always worked for me so I am doubting the change. I know, from research that it is a more flexible system and can be used as both preventer and releiver but the thought of not using ventolin scares me rigid! My peak flow has fallen since Wednesday when I started to use it and my chest is sore and I am coughing even more. Should I speak to my GP about starting Seretide again or do I have to contact the consultant who I am sureI will not be able to contact easily.What do others think of Fostair? How long did it take to work?

Finally, sorry for the long ramble, how do people cope mentally with symptoms for so long, the breathlessness especially? I have been really struggling to come to terms with what I might have to live with forever, after having such well controlled asthma I feel my life has been taken away from me and I feel so alone. Thank you for reading.

10 Replies

Hi Purplejane, I'm sure everyone reading this is saying.... Yep... I hear ya! You are right, dealing with the emotions of it is tough. For me I think the tiredness is what makes me the most prone to becoming emotional. The effort you put into just simply trying to breathe just wipes you out. You ache just about everywhere right? It will be different for everyone but for me, the key is to keep my mind occupied. If I think about it I feel worse, if I can think of something else I can damp it down. I'm all about escapism so it's a book or in longer term poor control of my asthma a really good box set!! I know it sounds lame... But thinking or should I say over thinking can be the enemy! It may control my lungs but it won't control my mind!

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Hi I hear you too! It is really tough wondering how long it will go on for, will I ever feel ok again, etc. My experience is of a rollercoaster of peaks and troughs. I am not coping very well but I am at the bottom of a trough (I hope!) But I am trying to look after myself, rest, so everything the dr says.

With regards to Fostair it’s a more modern drug as I understand it. I was encouraged to try it instead of Seretide and it did wonders for my asthma. I didn’t get on with the side effects so I went back to Seretide. I think it’s worth a try as you might find it’s a wonder drug. If not you can try something else or go back to Seretide.


Hi have asthma and copd diagnosed in 2011 did well on seretide twice a day and tiotropium at night, I worked as a nurse and had a very good life with just a few issues with my chest but 12 months ago became breathless, coughing etc you no the drill. Started fostair up to 12 puffs a day as a reliever and a preventer what a mess the side effects horrific couldn't even hold a cup or use a knife and fork the shakes were so bad, palpatations and thrush. Took ventolin as well if I needed it think it saved my life.

I have had relvar for past month but still very breathless and cough still bad. I am going to ask to return to seretide and see if I can have a bit of a life again!! that would be nice. Fostair can work for some but they seem to be taking this as a preventer twice daily not as a reliever. Asthma is trial and error but always have your ventolin at hand its a life saver. You will get through this you know yourself what helps and what limitations you have. I keep a peak flow chart as told too but know myself when it gets below 150. Ask to take fostair and your ventolin maybe you need your comfy blanket ( ventolin) its been mine. 😊


I totally understand where you are coming. Having been on steroids for the past month, been up and down with my asthma, I am on fostair 200/6 and montelukast. I spoke to my asthma nurse on Friday. I am on apparently the most medication I can get at the moment. Like you I just want to be back to where I was a couple of mounts ago. I could cope with it, if it weren’t for the lack of sleep.

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Hi all thanks for the replies and your thoughts. I had a pretty tough weekend and didn't feel at all well. Went to the docs this morning have another chest infection prescribed clarithromycin, just finished a supportive dose of Azthromycin, again for the second time in 2 months. This is never ending! Also, as I really am reaching the end of my tether some Amitriptyline to act as a sedative before bed although it is an antidepressant , beta blockers where her first choice but they depress breathing so not an option.

She wanted to see if I could cope without steriods but I doubt it so will be back again tomorrow no doubt. What a waste of precious NHS time, I did tell her I would likely need them. I hate taking them as they make me feel so rubbish and I have only just stopped them last week, my husband calls them my mad pills, but I would rather be able to breathe.

She suggested I stay on Fostair for the moment as she didn't think there was any connection between switching from Seretide just bad luck but if it doesn't work to go back to Seretide.I must afmit I feel 'safer' on Seretide that blue inhaler certainly is a comfort blanket.


I have Fostair. Was put on in May (100/6....2 puffs am and two pm, then up to 4 puffs during day -max of 8 per day).

Now on 200/6. Two puffs am and two pm. Not been advised if I can take more though. Something to discuss with my consultant when I see him.

I *still* have ventolin. And at present due to recent issues, am using it at least once a day. I was never told to stop the ventolin at all.

However, i try my Fostair first if its only slightly tight and see if that opens up. If not then I use the ventolin and if that doesn't work as per usual advice then I'm clearly in trouble and all bets are off.


I have Fostair 100/6 and was told to use it as a reliever as well as a preventer hence there was no need for ventolin.

Now, with the chest infection all that has gone out of the window and I am going to use what ever helps me to breathe but will stick to Fostair for the moment as I haven't had any horrendous side effects as yet (here's hoping).

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Very odd the differences and non standard advice that seems to be given. There really seems to be no consistency.

I was specifically told to keep using the ventolin if needed in addition to Fostair. I use Fostair as first line (when I take a puff via spacer, it *soothes* my twitchy throat). If that isn't working or needs an extra help then I will use the ventolin.

Had to use ventolin today....someone outside in the town was retarring a roof. Am sure you can imagine the thick smoky air in my work town. It was filtering into our building even with windows shut (we don't have aircon). I was trying to figure out why I was feeling tight all of a sudden then our delivery manager commented on the smokiness and then the penny dropped for me. Out came ventolin....which worked nicely and no shakiness.

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I find the inconsistency quite alarming sometimes. During this horrible exacerbation I have lost count of the number of ways I have been told to taper the steriods I was on. Every doctor I saw told me something different. I had been on them for nearly a month hence the taper.

I was at GP today to check my chest and thankfully it was clear. Still have cough and lots of mucus but I think that is the asthma.

Not even sure I had a chest infection as I had no fever, I think it is just a never ending asthma flare. The antibiotics seem to be working though so maybe there was an element of infection.

Still breathless and had to use my ventolin twice last night, as I say, at the moment it is what ever works! I am quite liking Fostair as it seems a more flexible approach, used it once yesterday as a reliever and didn't need the ventolin, at least not until the evening.

Glad to see you are at work and back to some kind of normality, I can't wait for that day to come. I have just been signed off for a further 2 weeks. That will make 9 in total.

Can't help feeling a bit sorry for myself sometimes, there is only so much day time TV one can stand and I just want my life back.


I have recently been put on fostair inhaler from sybmbicort following a try on seritide that didn't work. I would like to know people's experiences useing fostair . I have only just started it so don't know yet how it would work for me. Thanks guys would really like to hear from you.


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