dreadful service at the asthma nurse - Asthma UK communi...

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dreadful service at the asthma nurse

murphy100 profile image

two years ago I had a chest infection the nurse wanted to give me red tabs predisolone you know the ones I said I,m not having them why cant I have some amoxyclilin antibiotic she went out and got a doctor he did his thing and prescribed serevent inhaler . So had that took it for two years and began to get terrible side effects that were listed as 1in 100 person I had them all and just put them down to getting old .Saw asthma nurse again she gives me frostair I asked for the original brown preventer I had used for 30 years without any problems only for her to say it was not strong enough. I got the frostair inhaler but I am not going to use it fearful of more of the same bad reactions . She will be phoning soon to see how I am coping with it .

My asthma is not too bad I feel much better not using the serevent and wished they had given me the antibiotic I originily asked for when will they actually listen that the patient knows how they feel and need the medication that has always worked even if there was no wheezing at that time perhaps I was in the know and was going to the doctors knowing what I was getting and expecting the right medication and not some world of discomfort for 2 years .....

19 Replies

Sometimes it is trial and error but I agree you don't need more discomfort. I am on fostair and I have find it really useful as it has a 12 hour blue inhaler in it

murphy100 profile image
murphy100 in reply to

Hi just wondering seretide has the same thing I used the wrong word on previous post not serevent . apparently fostair has no bad side effects . Would you want a higher dose reliever in one go anyway .

in reply to murphy100

I had no side effects from it at all just a minor headache when I have to use it 3 time's a day only under medical advice I do that.

Hi , reading your post it seems like you are not clear about the different purposes of antibiotics and steroids . Antibiotics only work on bacterial infections . They will not treat a viral chest infection or the symptoms of asthma . No doubt the doctors prescription was correct . If you are having adverse reactions to a particular drug you need to establish exactly what it is , as brand names are not the same as active ingredients .

murphy100 profile image
murphy100 in reply to Griffon

Hi I went to the doctors knowing I was going to get worse and just wanted antibiotics so I wasnt off work . Because I wasnt wheezing according to my latest asthma nurse that is why I was given seretide sorry I used wrong word earlier .

Now is wheezing a viral or bacterial infection either way I think it would have been of benefit at the time.

If you look at the seretide inhaler reactions I had most of them shame it took me two years to look at the rules after reading posts on this site .

twinkly29 profile image
twinkly29 in reply to murphy100

Griffon is spot on. Antibiotics would only be given for bacterial infection.

Wheezing is not infection. It's an asthmatic reaction to do with inflammation. This can happen because of infection but it can happen due to all sorts of other triggers. Steroids (or a change in inhalers) would be prescribed for wheezing.

Having said that, not all asthmatics wheeze. It sounds like your GP/nurse recognise that (this is good as not all do) because they prescribed the steroids and new inhaler.

murphy100 profile image
murphy100 in reply to twinkly29

okay work this out I've been asthmatic for 35 years I've had numerous colds flu ect ; which would then go straight to my chest and make me wheeze . Now with every doctor in the past it was a course of antibiotics ; I didnt ask the and neither did the doctor is it viral or bacterial I took the pills no problem . Now wouldnt you think I would know how it feels and that is why I asked for antibiotics so he could get on with seeing to more deserving patients . One thing is forsure the next time I get a viral bacterial infection I will be sure to wheeze and exaggerate it . If he gives another inhaler I'll be sure to put him right . The asthma nurse will be phoning me in a couple of weeks to see how I'm getting on with fostair inhaler I hope for the brown inhaler that I always had no problem with ; that or nothing I feel alot better stopping seretide anyway .

Wheezycat profile image
Wheezycat in reply to murphy100

It is true antibiotics was prescribed for everything 35 years ago, but as I am sure you are aware many of the antibiotics are no longer working due to them having been over prescribed. These days it is done, quite rightly, with greater care, just so we don’t lose them all. It is really a very serious concern. And it is well known that they don’t work with viruses.

I looked after our daughter who has asthma, and showed signs of it already 35 years ago, and the way it is treated now has changed quite a lot, as scientists have found new medications and better ways of managing. It is better now than it was then, not perfect, definitely better.

It sounds as if you were on Clenil, a brown inhaler. So was I but eventually it wasn’t strong enough. For 3-4 years I was on Symbicort, but recently I was given Fostair. The great thing about Fostair is that in many people it is as effective as some medications that has double the amount of steroid. I am now on lower amount of steroids and it is as effective as Symbicort was. What’s not to like? It is true we all react differently to different medications, but how can you know if you will react badly without even trying?Clearly your GP does not think Clenil is sufficient for you anymore.

murphy100 profile image
murphy100 in reply to Wheezycat

I appreciate your sentiments and the modulator that I think you are I understand where you are coming from and getting people to adhere to doctors orders .

My brown inhaler was becotide I was fine up to that time two years ago and I've just read the side affects for fostair . I was the 1 in a 100 for seretide there is only a couple that are missing so I'm not going to try . There are recent sufferers on here having antibiotics ect . When push comes to shove I can exist on a peak flow of 350 -400 and using diversion technikes like keeping your eyebrows raised and mouth shut and use your stomach to breath and ventolin . Please dont think I'm depressed only the seretide did that .

Wheezycat profile image
Wheezycat in reply to murphy100

No, I am not a modulator , just another sufferer expressing a different viewpoint. In the end the decision is between you and your GP. I have had both antibiotics and steroids when bad depending on what is going on. But I truly appreciate that doctors these days need to try to be sure it is a bacterial infection you have, not a viral one.

I am surprised you were on becotide (the same as our daughter was on), as it contained CFCs, and thus faced out and replaced with Clenil Modulite. That is unless I have missed some further development, which is entirely possible.

Amy2091 profile image
Amy2091 in reply to Griffon

Antibiotics would only work if you have an active infection (bright green mucus etc.) Infection rarely has wheezing as a symptom alone - that is more likely uncontrolled asthma. The steroids would be what you need during a flare up when there is no infection, and also if there is, so they have done the right thing to prescribe them. As for changing your preventer to fostair, this is because it contains more ingredients than your previous inhaler, and actually works the same way as your brown inhaler and servent, but together. I've had many inhalers over the years and I agree that some of them aren't nice in terms of side effects but sometimes the side effects are worth it if they reduce symptoms, they won't work overnight, give it a try and give it time. I'm not a big fostair fan, I take symbicort but am encouraged all the time with fostair, it's often trial and error to find what works for you. If you required steroids then something needs to change, and if they haven't given you antibiotics it means you do not have an infection but an increase in symptoms.

murphy100 profile image
murphy100 in reply to Amy2091

I disagree I wont tolerate the side effects that seretide gave me after 24 months and this is what I had to put up with :-

very painful joint pain ( that I thought was sport injury)

heart murmurs



itching all over so I couldnt sleep

swollen hands, face

loss of strength

weight gain

loss of energy


So now tell me I should persevere with modern inhalers with finer mist to effect deeper airwaves when I know it is only my upper airwaves that get constricted . When I take a puff of ventolin which has no fine mist I get complete relief so why do I need a fine mist reliever .

Wheezycat profile image
Wheezycat in reply to murphy100

That sounds nasty and I can understand you don’t want all that again. A few of those side effects, especially cramp, I also get, but not enough for me not to be overall grateful for the combo preventers I have experienced so far. However, it is perhaps worth your while to study the ingredient lists of any proposed inhalers, and comparing with Seretide, rather than just ruling them out without research as you seem to be doing. You may be doing yourself out of something that could work well for you.

Amy2091 profile image
Amy2091 in reply to murphy100

I'm currently in a similar battle, I used a high dose seretide for YEARS - I actually had very few side effects and was essentially happy on it, but it wasn't controlling my asthma symptoms and my flare ups/infections came more frequent. I am now under a specialist consultant and I'm told time and time again by them all (the team) that seretide is rubbish for controlling severe asthma anyway. However your brown inhaler would have contained far milder medicine which is likely why you have needed steroids and likely will do more frequently.

I've been using symbicort for a few months now - happily - it tastes foul but I don't suffer any side effects despite it being stronger than the seretide. I am too being pressured into fostair due to the finer particles, this is now my 3rd attempt! (Currently using steroids due to the constant change atm! - my appointment didn't go MY way today either :( ) - I feel your pain because I hate it and I get side effects with this as well as a poor technique due to that. That said, I haven't yet trialed it for a long enough period to see if my bloods change. If I can bring them down low enough then I may be able to try additional treatment that has been successful in 98% of suffers with same asthma type as myself - almost clearing their symptoms, so this to me is a goal!

It isn't nice handling something that you don't like, but you at least need to experiment to find something that actually works for you, low side effects AND improves your asthma, maybe this inhaler isn't for you, but you won't actually know until you've tried it, or something else.

At the end of the day, think about how much your asthma is bothering you currently, it seems to not be great as you are needing steroids, could this be due to something else triggering it? Allergies, stress, maybe an actual infection? (Ask then to check ur sputum) etc? Could something else other than a different inhaler help? Or is it just your asthma getting worse?

Amy2091 profile image
Amy2091 in reply to Amy2091

Also, you will be getting instant relief from ventolin because that's ventolin a job as a reliever!

Your seretide or fostair or any other preventer inhalers main priority is to work over time, not instantly - although with fostair there is the benefit of MART, not something I have tried yet but maybe once I'm used to it

Hi Murphy. You describe being wheezy but don't mention having phlegm or bringing up phlegm that is coloured. Without phlegm I doubt you had or have a chest infection. The wheeze indicates that you have restriction in the lungs - narrowing of the airways. The steroids (pills or inhaler) would address this.

It would be useful if you could say if you wheeze on inhalation or exhalation or both.

Fostair is a combination inhaler with both a steroid plus a long acting bronchidilator, a bit like long acting Ventolin. The particles are fine so they can reach well into the lungs. Side effects maybe felt at first but should drop off after a few days, unless you are unlucky - but unless you try you could miss out on a very good medication. Normally you would give a new medication 6 to 8 weeks to see the efficacy and only stop it if the side effects were intolerable and you had spoken to your GP.

Like you I was on Becotide and Ventolin for years but once my asthma started to flare up I was put on Symbicourt but stayed on Ventolin. Now I'm on Fostair as it seems to be better than Symbicourt for me. I have also negotiated with my asthma nurse to add Becotide inhaler.

It's important to get your asthma nurse on your side and work with them. I get what you're saying about knowing your own body but if you don't try Fostair then you can't say to the nurse that it hasn't worked for you. Fostair has two different meds than Seretide so there's every chance Fostair will be a better inhaler for you in terms of efficacy and side effects - it's a newer medication than Seretide.

MaggieHP profile image
MaggieHP in reply to Poobah

Your comment concerning phlegm is not always true. I’ve had a chest infection (and was diagnosed as having such by my GP) with a cough that was so tight that I wasn’t producing any phlegm. Nor is that the only time that’s happened with me. Typically it’s only when things are beginning to improve that my cough turns productive, but by then I’m on the mend.

I agree with you about different medications working for different people though. I was put on becotide many years ago (the lowest dose) and it was nowhere near powerful enough to control my asthma. I'm now on Flixotide 250 (same steroid as Seretide but without the LABA) .

murphy100 profile image
murphy100 in reply to Poobah

Please see reply to Amy2091

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to murphy100

Murphy100. Keep us posted as to what you decide to do and how you get on.

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