Steroids for asthmatics : Hi all. Just... - Asthma UK communi...

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Steroids for asthmatics

Newasthmatic profile image

Hi all. Just wondering whether anyone is prescribed steroids for flare up of their asthma? It seems to be the only thing that works for me to alleviate symptoms but GP has just advised that they are usually only prescribed for COPD but reluctantly prescribed for me....any thoughts?


11 Replies

Hi, I’m sorry your not feeling well and are having some trouble with your GP.

There is many different reasons for steroids it can depend on your original diagnosis, your actual complaints at the time. But yes asthma can/is treated with steroids although in many opinions both medical and otherwise it should only be used if all other treatments have been exhausted as they have lots of side effects and can be harmful long term.

That said they are also useful as short term help and some asthmatics such as myself have been on them as maintenance for years.

Sorry this may not be useful but try asking to see an asthma nurse or give asthma uk a call they can probably be more helpful.

Hope you feel better.

Prednisolone/prednisolone is the standard oral steroid for asthma flare-ups. They can prescribe prednisolone at A and E. Even if A and E does not offer it to you outright, you can ask for it.

Inhaled steroids are standard as maintenance therapy; many folks on this forum (including myself) are on them on this and will share their thoughts. Inhaled steroids may take trial and error to find the one(s) that works best. All I can say -- take the inhaled ones regularly, as prescribed, and do not skip/stop even if you think you are feeling better. Ask to up the dose or ask to change if you feel they are not helping. Keep a diary (peak flow AM/PM) to have a "paper trail" of symptoms.

Sorry but your gp is an idiot. Most serious flare ups of asthma are treated with steroid tablets and possibly antibiotics (if an infection). Usually this is a short course but as looneyno1 says some people take a maintenance dose for years.Yes the reluctance at prescribing is fair enough because steroid tablets are nasty horrible drugs (known as the devils tic tacos) which can have lots of serious long term complications associated with them. They shouldn’t be dished out like smarties. BUT they do their job at calming inflammation down and enabling someone to breath again so a necessary evil.

twinkly29 profile image
twinkly29 in reply to Bevvy

This!! What is that GP on about?!

I’ve been prescribed oral steroids when I have a flare up. It’s the only thing that will settle my lungs down if they’re having a right old wobble! I have a good asthma nurse who knows when I ask for them that I need them. Thankfully not needed then for a while my inhaled steroid inhaler has kept everything under control.

Thank you all so much. 👍

Yes, sometimes prednisone is the only fix. When you are so short of breath, you need it! They usually start with 40 or 50 mg and whittle down or off by two weeks or so. Do you have a breathing machine? Ipratorium and albuterol are a good mix for your nebulizer. Good luck and here’s hoping you don’t have more flare ups 🥰I’m in the US BTW.

Thats crap.... steroids (prednisolone usually) are the gold standard for asthma treatment they are basically an anti inflammatory, asthma is an inflammatory condition of the airways ..... I have quite literally had tons of courses of steroids and never been told that ever

Thanks all. Its good to hear everyone's thoughts and advice.

I have rescue preds which is unusual for asthmatics as apparently it’s usually only COPD that have them so maybe that’s what he’s thinking about rather than the 5 day course he can prescribe as a one off if you need them.There’s also a difference in the prescribed dose as I was give 30mg daily at first which didn’t help much and saw a different dr who said that’s the COPD dosage ,for Asthma it’s 40mg for 5 days

Hi Newasthmatic.

Ive had 11 courses of Steroids for allergic asthma, over a year. Most of us have an emergency pac in the house. Have you seen an asthma consultant? Or can you change your doctor in the practice?

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