Incorrect frequency of use of inhaler... - Asthma UK communi...

Asthma UK community forum

17,954 members22,276 posts

Incorrect frequency of use of inhaler - how common is this?

2019Steve profile image

I was diagnosed with asthma 30 years ago and prescribed inhaler(s).

When my condition worsened about 5 years ago I saw a consultant who diagnosed bronchiectasis.

I came away with the impression that I no longer had asthma but this new condition, and that I should continue the use of sybicort inhaler as and when I needed it.

For the last 5 years I have suffered from a steady cought and was prescribed antibiotics on a frequent basis, and continued with the inhaler but irregularly.

Finally, I saw a new doctor and asked to see a consultant again as I felt the antibiotics were not resolving my issues.

Lung capacity was measured at 250.

To cut a long story short, I discovered that I must take the sybicort regularly, every day, 4 puffs in total. I was told it was ineffective to use occasionaly and needed to be taken daily in the prescribed dose.

After 10 days my lung capacity had increased to 400 plus and my chest cleared completely.

I wonder how many other asthma sufferers there are that take sybicort as and when rather than 4 puffs every day?

19 Replies

Do you think that taking symbicort helped your lungs. I was prescribed symbicort but afraid to take for regular use. Did want to be dependent on it. Please let me know or other comments from others.



Wheezycat profile image
Wheezycat in reply to sagittar

It has definitely helped me. I have taken it regularly for the last 2.5 years, 200/6, 2 puffs am and 2 pm. When I have a cold or something I double the dose for a while, and occasionally that is enough to get me through it. I wouldn’t dream of not taking it regularly as prescribed.

sagittar profile image
sagittar in reply to Wheezycat

thank you for your testimony...I do have a co-worker that swears by it. Always worried about long term. And not be able to wean off a regular maintenance like qvar.

Wheezycat profile image
Wheezycat in reply to sagittar

I worry far more about long term effects on my lungs from asthma. Neither option is perfect, but of the two I rather have Symbicort than damaged lungs.

Superzob profile image
Superzob in reply to sagittar

I am not aware that inhalers make you dependant like antidepressives. You may get a short-lived rebound effect if you stop using them , but you ultimately go back to square one. Preventer inhalers like Symbicort are not much use unless you take them regularly, the actual dose varying according to your symptoms. Using Symbicort regularly has increased my lung function from 50 to 63%; not a great absolute value, but a considerable improvement on what it was.

2019Steve profile image
2019Steve in reply to sagittar

It definitely helps if taken regularly - affects very noticeable after 7 to 10 days of regular use.

Definitely,but only if taken properly and regularly as prescribed.

sagittar profile image
sagittar in reply to 2019Steve

Can you tell me the dosage..... I have 160/4.5 on hand that my doctor precribed.

in reply to sagittar

mine is 200/6

im the same I wondered what Symbicort was supposed to do I was having trouble breathing in and the doc did that capacity test n said it was asthma and prescribed Symbicort. what is it supposed to do , ive been taking it infrequently mostly cos I forget

2019Steve profile image
2019Steve in reply to

You must take it regularly for it to be effective. It takes about a week of regular use to start to be effective.

Wheezycat profile image
Wheezycat in reply to

It is a combination inhaler that is both a ‘reliever’ and a ‘preventer’. The reliever is sort of like ventolin, it helps to open your airways when they tighten, as it were, so, say, if you run for a bus and get very breathless due to asthma, it can help you restore to normal. The preventer is there to reduce inflammation. That part you have to take regularly. Asthma, as I am sure you know, is an inflammatory condition, so you will be prone to your airways being inflamed. If the inflammation is reduced you are also less likely to need a reliever, and many people have that in a separate inhaler. The preventer element does need to be used all the time, otherwise it will not work so well to reduce that inflammation. (There can be some exceptions to this, so this is just what applies to most people, and it is a good place to start to understand). For better and further information, look at the Asthma U.K. website, and perhaps talk to one of their specialist nurses on their helpline, details easily available on their website.

I’m on the 200/6 symbicort and it replaced a more old fashioned higher steroid inhaler which I’d been taking for some years but had been resulting in my bruising. I take 2 puffs night and morning and under the SMART protocol use it when I feel tight chested rather than ventolin. It’s not always practical to wait for the reliever element to kick in (c10-15 mins) so I often resort to ventolin if I’m in a sporty/rush mode. Have been exceptionally pleased with my overall improvement

mine says to use it 2 puffs twice a day didn't know u can use it when your breathless etc

Wheezycat profile image
Wheezycat in reply to

These are the things your GP ought to have discussed with you. I couldn’t increase as needed, until I was put on the SMART regime. Now can decide myself, as long as I am sensible and seek help when needed. Before I was expected to stick to what I was prescribed, and until you fully understand it, it is probably better you do. To me is sounds as if you need to go back to your GP, or your surgery’s asthma nurse if there is one, so they can go through it all with you. Until you have the green light as it were, and know how to gage it, i wouldn’t experiment. This condition is potentially too serious to do that. Also, read up on the Asthma U.K. re’s lots of help to be had with them.

sagittar profile image
sagittar in reply to Wheezycat

Whats a smart Regime?

Wheezycat profile image
Wheezycat in reply to sagittar

It stands for Symbicort Maintenance and Reliever Therapy, something that a health professional would talk to you about if appropriate. It allows you to make decisions to increase and decrease as needed, but within reason, so it should be explained and signed off (if not you can have trouble getting new prescriptions due to having used more than expected, without having an agreed plan. It does sound to me you really do need to speak to your gp or asthma nurse so you find it all easier. That way your choices may feel easier. And, again, look at the Asthma U.K. website. It is really worth it!

I use mine way too much. Ventolin. I have just turned 67 and was diagnosed with asthma when I was about 4. I like to keep relatively fit. I also use Relvar Ellipta and Incruse Ellipta.

Thank you all for your reply and really does helps all of us.

You may also like...