Some praise for allergy drops!! - Asthma UK communi...

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Some praise for allergy drops!!

AxKlein89
AxKlein89

Hi everybody,

I was diagnosed with allergic asthma two years ago and my body never agreed with inhaled steroids (the side effects were horrendous: depression, lack of energy, extreme weakness... the list goes on). A year ago a doctor put me on allergy drops, which combined my three allergens (dust mites, mold and cat dander) into one mix. To make a long story short, I had a terrible year dealing with non-ending wheezing, but when I finally hit my 10th month of allergy drops the symptoms started to disappear!! I'm now in the 13th month and haven't used any Ventolin for three months. Imagine my joy...

Now, what shocks me is that allergy drops and shots don't get much publicity, not even here, and it still is the ONLY treatment available that treats the cause of asthma and not just the symptoms. I realize this statement is only valid for allergic asthma, but let us not forget that around 50 to 60% of asthma is allergic, even in adults.

By saying this, I just hope that anybody with allergic asthma will read these words and try allergy drops or shots. They may be expensive and very slow to start working, but they have the potential to give you long-lasting relief with no drugs and little to no side effects.

Alex

11 Replies

I was referred to immunology and unfortunately my asthma is too severe and the consultant said that immunotherapy was too risky.

AxKlein89
AxKlein89 in reply to Lottie007

As long as your asthma is controlled, immunotherapy shouldn't pose a risk, especially if it's drops and not shots (shots have a higher risk of anaphylactic reactions).

Either way, I do hope you get relief, even if it's just symptomatic.

Lottie007
Lottie007 in reply to AxKlein89

I’m one of those whose asthma is uncontrolled / brittle, despite maximum therapy which is the reason why they won’t touch me!

AxKlein89
AxKlein89 in reply to Lottie007

I'm no doctor, but allergy drops simply expose you to small quantities of your triggers (which happens constantly in real life, especially if you're allergic to dust mites). The difference is that the drops have very small amounts of the allergen, whereas in real life the exposure is usually higher.

Perhaps you should get a second opinion? The long-term benefits might be worth it.

Lottie007
Lottie007 in reply to AxKlein89

I have, and they won’t consider me! Hopefully there will be more biologics available soon that are targeted for my type of asthma - glad that you were able to have them and they were a success

Thank you for sharing Alex. I've read about desensitisation treatments but often wondered why they aren't more widespread in the UK. I suspect the initial cost in time is too much for the NHS, but long term it sounds more cost effective and a much better option for patients. In the States they will treat aspirin sensitivity but here we get expensive dry powder inhalers and a diet instead.

I'm so glad you had this treatment Alex, especially as you can't tolerate steroids.

AxKlein89
AxKlein89 in reply to Poobah

Thank you for your kind thoughts!

Where I live (Colombia, South America), allergy treatments are not included in the public healthcare system (which is abysmal here, to say the least). The plus side of living here is that private health services are very cheap, not to mention generic drug prices (you can get QVAR for 8 british pounds, 200 puffs a piece; Flixotide costs 10 pounds for a month's supply). My allergy drops do cost 50 pounds a month, which is considered a bit high here, but the relief has certainly been worth it.

This is why patients of many ailments living abroad will come here to pay for private treatments or buy drugs in bulk, because the costs are so low that even the traveling expenses are worth it.

Poobah
Poobah in reply to AxKlein89

I watched a Now This film on YouTube about US health care and was truly amazed at the cost of medication there, even with health insurance. So I understand why people are health are tourists. An asthma inhaler was about $300US. Crazy profiteering.

We have a lot of people go abroad for cosmetic surgery and dentistry, both of which are quite expensive in the UK.

Best of luck with your ongoing treatment and thanks for sharing.

AxKlein89
AxKlein89 in reply to Poobah

It's absurd, yes. What the pharmaceuticals do is develop a new inhaling device, so that when the patents for the old ones expire, the new devices replace the old ones.

That way the companies can charge big because the old devices are taken out of the market.

Even though most asthma steroids are old enough to be generics, the devices needed to inhale them are the true source of income for the companies, because the devices can be re-designed, whereas the drug cannot.

Hi, I am very interested in your post.... I am having problems, I believe with steroids. Can I ask you how your allergies were diagnosed? I was only diagnosed last year and appear to have allergies that I didn’t have before.

Also your side effects to steroids, you mention weakness. Was this general or did it affect particular muscles? Thanks

My allergies were diagnosed with a standard skin prick test, which really only confirmed what I knew by personal experience (I couldn't get near cats and old books). I understand immunotherapy has the potential to stop your current allergies and even possibly prevent new ones from developing, but then again, each patient is different.

Regarding my steroid intolerance, the weakness was very much generalized. I would get to a point in which I couldn't get out of bed or perform simple tasks, and my appetite was non-existant. In light of these symptoms, I was probably suffering from adrenal suppression, because I did measure my morning cortisol levels and they weren't as high as expected. A few months after discontinuing the steroids, the morning levels went back up to normal.

Perhaps you should get some blood tests and a stimulation test to see how your adrenals are working?

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