Inhalers not working so well

Hi I am new to this, have been diagnosed with COPD five years agoand gone from mild to moderate sufferer. I am 66 years old and am taking Symbiicort twice daily and Salbutamol as and when required. I am noticing that i am getting more breathless recentley even when walking on flat ground. I am due my yearly review with my COPD nurse next week and am wondering if anyone can suggest any other inhaler that may help with the breathlessness that I could ask for.

20 Replies

  • At the severe stage I would have thought that a 24hr Bronchial dilator would be prescribed ie Spirva which is a once a day inhaler as well as your Symbicort & Salbutimol

  • I am also moderate copd I take seretide twice daily plus salbutamol as and when needed . I also take mucodyn but as soon as the weather starts to get colder I notice a big change in my breathing,so maybe you're not getting worse maybe it's just winter take care


  • Hi and welcome,

    It may be best to talk to your nurse and see what she advises. There are many different inhalers but they won't all suit everyone.

  • Not easy, but as well as asking for an inhaler review, and remember the salbutamol is a reliever inhaler and is probably best thing for that purpose, that leaves the Symbicort. a cortizone based inhaler......I was on this and had it replaced with the newer Ellipta type........the actual one would be right for me but might not be for you so not worth mentioning, your Resp nurse should know, your GP may not.

    The Ellipta one is a once a day, easy to take and is very good for avoiding exacerbations, been great for me.

    The "not easy" part.............Breathing exercises........We all like to think breathing comes natural and we don`t have to give it a thought. But we do, whether we like it or not.

    These can help generally and be a great help in some of the worse moments, helping get a sense of control back and getting over unpleasant situations much more quickly.

    Of course these need practice, but needs must, and I encourage you to explore this further.

    You can be stranded with an empty inhaler, but the exercise is within you everywhere you are.

  • Do you find the Ellipta type inhaler more effective than the Symibcort and if so do you mind me asking which inhaler you use as I wouldn't mind giving it a try as well. I know we are all different and some respond better to one inhaler than another but still wouldn't mind giving it a try if you saw some improvement using it.

    Thank you

  • Not as simple as that, your particular condition overall must merit being trialled with an inhaler, you cannot just try one to see if you like it, that could be very dangerous. Mention Ellipta to the COPD nurse and say you want assessing for using it, see what happens.

    Good luck.

    And yes, more effective for me than Symbicort

  • My Pulmonologist has always been receptive to trying different or new inhalers if it is possible they would benefit me. I tried Inspilto (Spilto Stiolto depending on where you are located) and it didn't help me but have read on here that it has helped others. If you were on Symbicort and found benefit from the new inhaler there is at least a possibility it would also benefit me as I am also on Symbicort. Like anything there is no guarantee I would see the same benefit as you did but would at least like the opportunity to give it a try and of course my pulmonologist would not give it to me if it was not appropriate for my circumstances but if you decide not to share that information that is certainly your prerogative.

  • I understand.

    I did have another inhaler as well as symbicort, but the name escapes me, and I had both replaced with Ellipta inhalers, 2 types, Relvar and Incruse, but cannot recall which replaced which, so do not know which is the one I use use instead of Symbicort.

    Bit vague I know, but your Pulmonologist should be able to define which.

    Good luck with it, hope you get positive results.

    BUT.... you do seem easily dissuaded from breathing exercises, not being qualified for a rehab course is not an excuse not to find out and try for yourself.

    Otherwise all I have done is reinforce your dependency on medical services to provide solutions for you whilst you convince yourself that breathing exercises are probably OK for other who "qualify" but not for you at the moment.

    It is your breath and breathing, you are the best one to maximise its efficiency, medicines will help stabilise, but it is wrong to become too dependent on them alone.

    It is a cruel condition and we must respond with all we have, not just what others offer.

    Keep at it, you will see change for the better.

  • Thanks for the reply and I am not sure why you said "you do seem easily dissuaded from breathing exercises", as we had not discussed breathing exercises only the Ellipta inhalers you were on. I'll discuss these inhalers with my pulmonologist at my next appointment.


  • Thanks everyone for all your thoughts and advice, its much appreciated. I shall discuss it more with my nurse when I see her. I did request to attend a rehabilitation course for breathing techniques but was told that I didnt qualify.

  • I use my salamol inhaler 10 mins before using my fostair, it helps open the airways up to get the "protector" furthe in my lungs. I do this morning and night but have been advised to do it a lunchtime as well when I'm really wheezy.

  • Tiotropium bromide 2.5mg once a day two inhales. Spiriva Resprimat Ask your Doc to add it to your daily routine.

  • Curious if you used Spiriva Handihaler before going to the Spiriva Respimat? I was on the handihaler first and switched but I think the handihaler was more effective for me even though they say there shouldn't be any difference or if anything the respimat should allow more medication to get deeper into the lungs.

    Thank you

  • No I was using seretide in the purple container which was changed for the Respimat. I think we all have to experiment before finding a combination that suits and then it can all change as the body gets accustomed to the various drugs and combination of drugs.

  • Thank you

  • My excellent respiratory nurse has just put me on Clenil Modulite 200 (Beclometasone dipropionate) and a Ultibro breezhaler (Indacaterol/glycopyrronium) for my asthma and bronchiectasis, with Salbutamol when necessary. (This has replaced Seretide 250 and Salbutamol).

    It seems to be working well after 5 days.

    Comments on this from others would be welcome please.

  • Breezehaler makes my mouth dry as patch of the Sahara..

    And may also caused digestion problems - gave it up before we got to the bottom of that... but Spiriva definitely freezes my peristalsis, which why they were trying UB - Now on Formoterol + Clenil. x twice a day.

    But we're all different..

  • Thanks everyone will post again after ive seen the nurse.

  • ask for spiriva, best regards tarja

  • Do you have a respiratory clinic ask to see a consultant to be put on the right inhalers. I only get my inhalers changed by my consultant

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