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Asthma nurse, long term medication

LeiLey profile image

Hi all hope you’re doing well. Been for my first appointment with the asthma nurse to check inhaler technique etc, she was very nice. The way she way talking was that she classed me as having a diagnosis of asthma and asked about symptoms/triggers.

She read that the gp had suspected it a few weeks ago when I went for persistent shortness of breath and said I had a good response to ventolin with my peak flow and symptoms but ...I think the peak flow didn’t increase that much as what it would an asthmatic...Was around 30/40 litres after inhaler.

I have been on a prednisolone for a week (3 1/2 weeks ago) then the clenil 100 x 2 puffs twice a day for about 2 1/2 weeks, I generally feel like I am getting better now, still have odd days of symptoms so take the ventolin a few times per week.

No mention of any future definitive lung function tests to define asthma (due to pandemic which I understand) but I did mention that I haven’t been right since Covid-19 in May. I have been instructed to keep taking the clenil for now.

I don’t really know what I’m asking lol, just that I’m not going to do any harm by taking the daily steroids long term? As the GP and nurse seem like they are happy with my progress on the so far. (I didn’t take the peak flow chart to the nurse I forgot but she was asking about symptoms). I said yes to dust, smoke, areosols making me cough and she said that will be your asthma but I said it’s because I breathe through my mouth (always have) so I think it’s just because of that, not asthma, it’s confusing isn’t it When you don’t know everything 🙈

Oh well I will get there it’s a learning curve isn’t it! LeiLey x

7 Replies

My asthma nurse has asthma too so I do have confidence to ask her things next time I’m there as well, she will have a good understanding I feel x

No, the inhaled steroids are safe. They don't have the same effects as prednisolone does - and those are generally long term use anyway, the short courses for flare ups might cause brief issues but they're not usually long lasting. Definitely keep up with the clenil, it can take more weeks to fully embed, and needs to be taken even when you feel ok. You probably know that, sorry!

Your general peak flow (the regular twice a day ones) might well increase over time once you've been in clenil a bit longer (compared to what they were initially)

I wouldn't worry about actual tests as they can appear normal even in asthma. The nurse and GP sound sensible if they're going on symptoms and inhalers though so if you do need to ask them anything do contact them. Not that you can't ask here because you can do that too, just that often people have crap medical support so can't really do that 😂

LeiLey profile image
LeiLey in reply to twinkly29

Ohh thank you for your reply, pleased I can ask away 😊

Yes from what I’ve read on here some people don’t have much medical support at all, don’t know why - postcode lottery?? It’s not right. So I feel lucky about my GP surgery been good touch wood!

They certainly seem to be listening to my symptoms etc, so maybe they will just keep going off those and see if I keep improving with the clenil. She was also telling me that I can try the ventolin when I get my tight chest, cough etc and not just the shortness of breath, which is what some members were saying to me as well, all very knowledgeable people thank you!

I wonder how long it will take to get everything under control (all symptoms), not that I’m impatient though lol.. but if the inhalers work that’s great, might be able to do some exercise 😀

hope you’re feeling better now, LeiLey

twinkly29 profile image
twinkly29 in reply to LeiLey

I think 6 weeks is common for things to be working effectively - assuming there are no other triggers (like the weather or an cold or something) in the meantime. There are plenty of options if you or the nurse/GP feel extra is needed in the future (near or distant).

Yes sadly some people have rubbish support from their GP and/or nurses. It's scary what some spout as advice as well! But I'm lucky too and I'm glad you are.

LeiLey profile image
LeiLey in reply to twinkly29

Thank you 😊

Hi, you sound like I was. I too am triggered by dust, smoke aerosol etc and also breathe through my mouth so presumed that was the reason. I had the same results as you on peak flow after taking the clenil. I was on clenil 2 puffs twice a day but eventually put on Fostair. I only ever speak to a doctor/asthma nurse when there is a problem. When everything is fine I used to convince myself I don't have asthma until something triggers it. I think its because I've never experienced a really bad asthma attack, my asthma nurse told me off for thinking like that as she said the next one could be. This year I have been on prednisolone twice and had more issues so have fully accepted the diagnosis now.

There are some lovely people on here that seem to really know their stuff.

I hope everything settles down soon for you.

Thank you for replying.

Ohh wow you do sound like me! Yes those things that trigger me off coughing now and in the past - I’ve always put down to being more of a mouth breather lol. I’ve noticed I cough in the car as well when the heating is on!

I had the 30/40 l improvement after two puffs of the ventolin. But overall the morning peak flow seems to be increasing a little after 2 1/2 weeks on clenil.

You’ve hit the nail on the head as not got an official diagnosis yet so I’m wondering “well what if it’s xyz instead” and trying to piece everything together. Plus I’ve always convinced myself I’m just unfit (which I am as well though 😆).

I’m pleased your asthma nurse is on the ball and told you to take it more seriously and hope you’ve recovered well from you’re flare ups and are doing better 🤞.

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