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British Lung Foundation
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Emergency drugs

To take or not to take? That is the question!!

I am very tight backed and I am more breathless than usual but my PF hasn't deteriorated ( thank god as it is poor in the first place) I am coughing but not always producing. My sjorgens is making my nose and nasal passengers even drier. As are my eyes too!!!

Somebody recently shared an emergency drugs and when to take checklist but I can't find it!!!

Any help or advice would be much appreciated xx

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Thank you Stone-U.K. For your help.

It makes me realise that I don't have a management plan!! Something else to asks question about!!!

I don't respond to a blue pump!

I've had paracetamols and I'll keep an eye on my symptoms tomorrow. It's probably just the tiredness and talking from the first few days back at school!!



If it helps, I agreed a management plan with the PR nurse last year. This year I followed it (twice) and ended up in hospital (twice).

I have decided that, if I begin to go downhill I will use the emergency meds because, I suspect that to develop an immunity to them would take quite some time and even if I did then there are alternative drugs to use.

Delaying the start of them risks [further] damage to my lungs which I'm not prepared to accept ... and I'm fed up of going to hospital so, at the first sign I begin taking them.

Understand, I don't treat them like Smarties but I don't wait either. My [new] motto "If in doubt, take them"!

Stay well


Morning Lynnelovessunshine

Oh how I sympathise! Recognising when an infection is starting is difficult isn't it? Especially when we are relatively new to all of this. For myself, my throat becomes MUCH drier, to the point I can't swallow, and I can't clear it. The next indicator is my eyes and nasal passages, so in your shoes, I would have started my rescue pack. The minute I notice that I'm clearing my throat more often, I use First Defence, it does seem to work and my respiratory nurse agrees.

I don't have an action plan as such, but then there isn't one really for us Zebras, but Stone-UK posted a kind of diary like thing a while back and I did play around with that, I've made a sort of checklist of my own , including a potted history, what meds I'm on, last Fev readings, last bloods etc. And I keep a paper copy just in case I need to be admitted, I've used it once and it was really useful.

Having said all of that, I also was a teacher, and the first few days of the new school year are always hard on your throat and voice, and on all of you really, it's pretty exhausting isnt it? I do think that the possibility of you picking up an infection is quite high at this time.

Whatever you decide to do , be kind to yourself and don't take any chances,

Wishing you all the best lovely

C.c xxx


I decided to wait a few days to see if I really did have an infection and ended up in hospital! Now I have decided to take my emergency meds asap. Don't know if I'm doing right but don't want to end up in hospital again with a chest infection. xx Moy


My nurse says "better safe than sorry". She says to take them the moment I realise something is wrong.

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The problem is many 'infections' are viral - ABs won't help (and will promote their resistance in you) and long term use of steroids produce dangerous side effects.

So, my understanding is: a)Significant increase in clear/white sputum production = inflammation = talk/get emergency appointment with your respiratory nurse/Gp and/or consider starting just prednisolone, NOT ABs.

b) Significant increase in sputum production, colour changed to green/brown AND increase in your temperature = possible infection: talk/get emergency appointment with your respiratory nurse/Gp/get sputum sample to GP for lab testing to determine best AB and get guidance from your respiratory nurse; if not possible (on hols, w/e bank holiday) start your rescue pack prednisolone AND ABs and get appointment & sample with Gp asap.

Good luck - in my experience if you end up in a&e they say you should have started your rescue pack earlier... and if you recover well they'll say you shouldn't have used the rescue pack..!

Note also I saw a different Dr recently & she said start your RP ABs... and don't take the steroids, prob because I had taken them 3 times in 6 months.


hi soul saver...i too take the steroids first unless i am certain i need AB. I am finding I throw off whatever is trying to happen within 2 days of steroids.


Thank you all for your helpful advice.

I'm on 10mg of prednisolone daily and I don't respond to extra steroids or the equivalent of a blue asthma pump.

I have amoxicillin clavulanic 500mg as my emergency meds

I didn't take them today as I don't feel as bad as yesterday. I did take paracetamol last night and I have been using my salt pipe so fingers crossed I won't need the AB xx

Wishing you all a good week xx


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