British Lung Foundation
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Frustrated with new gp’s

Hey everyone, I’m not sure I’m posting it in the right place. But I need a little rant and I figured you guys would understand.

So I’m 30. I’ve had asthma since I was 5. A few asthma attacks in my younger years, last one was around age 22.

I’m an army wife so as such I move frequently. Which is a nightmare medication wise. In the summer I moved to Stafford, set up my GP and I’ve had nothing but grief since. I had my asthma review in November where by they informed me I was taking too much salbutamol. (Approx 1 inhaler per 4 weeks, sometimes less sometimes a little more) this is normal for my asthma and depending on the seasons and sickness.

Apparently they expect me to use less of my Inhaler. Whilst being allergic to all the usuals (nuts, cats, dogs, dust,pollen) and loose weight. Which also stresses my asthma out too.

I’ve gone from bimbling around within 5 minutes from my home. To walking roughly 6-7 miles a day taking my children to school. All whilst living in a house where the previous people had cats.

I feel like what they want from me is nothing short of a miricle and I’m so frustrated at explaining this to them and they don’t seem to be listening.

My blue inhaler is about to run out, and I am genuinely worried about asking for a repeat for fear of getting even more grief.

I know it’s their job to help improve my asthma. But I feel like they should be more understanding. As asthma rules your entire life and when your “support” is getting at you where do you get support?

I’m tempted to move to another gp. But honestly after reading some of the posts on here I’m not sure that will help.

I’m not sure why I’m writing this. Other than none of my family understand as they don’t have asthma, they don’t know what it’s like and you guys probably will.

24 Replies
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In addition to the salbutamol, do you use a preventer inhaler? Did they just say that you ere taking too much and gave no advice?

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Sorry, I take fostair currently as a preventer too. They simply said I am using too much of the salbutamol

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They need to work with you to get it more controlled

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Understand

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Hiya Claire this is the place to rant as there’s always someone who will listen,I have copd,so don’t know much about asthma but know what struggling to breathe is like,you need to say it how is to your gp your struggling on your current prescription so need to have another look into what’s available to help,good luck.

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What else are you taking. I am very similar to you except i am28 years older

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Hi I was wondering if you have a preventer inhaler as well as the ventolin reliever. There is newer research out showing that if you use your ventolin over a certain amount it can mean that there is a problem and your illness needs reviewing. Often they will either increase or change your preventer inhaler with the aim to cut down your use of the reliever.

I do know the official guidelines now are you shouldn't be using your reliever more than 3/4 times a week. Some surgeries are much more strict than others but I do get through one a month and it has never been queried. It isn't one size fits all unfortunately and sometimes doctors will reduce the ventolin without proof that this amount is needed.

I can only advise you to have a word with your doctors or how about the asthma nurse? There should be one at your practice. Good luck.

Oh if you are in the UK you can contact the BLF nurses. They work office hours.

03000 030 555 x

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Sorry guys I forgot to add. I use fostair as a preventer. That’s currently doubled morning and night. I do it every winter to curb any issues with the cold. They don’t have any issues with that. Simply the salbutamol.

On a normal day I take it anywhere from 5-6 that’s during an actual work out, plus the 6-7 mile walk.

When I’m poorly... well it’s anyones game. Sickness my old gp advises double dose every 4-6 hours.

I have seen both the gp and my asthma nurse (yearly review was recently) and all they do is give me a hard time. But don’t actually take my circumstances into account. In the last appointment I just burst out crying because for every explanation I had they had an answer... which is generally you need to lose weight, cut down...

It’s a nasty circle. To lose weight I need to exercise, my asthma is stressed by exercise, so I take more reliever and round it goes

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I would suggest you ask them to refer you to an asthma consultant based in a hospital team for a second opinion suggest that as neither yourself or they have been unable to being your asthma under any control that a second opinion is needed.

I hope things get better.

Sue

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Yes, that second opinion would be most welcome to you I’m sure. If possible, perhaps have a consultation privately if you can afford to do so. They can over-rule your GP. I think we are often treated as a one-size-fits-all society. I wish they would understand we know our bodies a wee bit better than they do sometimes. We are not clones!

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i believe our body is the best diagnostic tool. the medical industry needs/wants to lower costs so i sometimes i question doctors as to why they want to stop/lower dosage! why don,t you test yourself!!

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Maybe a netti pot would help. I also take 1600 mg of NAC which really helps me. It is over the counter too.

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Is the blue inhaler the only one you use? I have had Asthma for 30yrs and have always had a daily inhaler (brown) becotide and a (blue) ventolin. The blue one for whe I was bad and the brown one to take two puffs a day twice a day. I also have a nightly pill called Montelukast.I have never heard of any one just using ventolin. I too have all the common trigger allergies and I was an army wife for 20yrs. You need to see your Doc and ask for better advice and a full review of your meds as soon as possible xx

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I use fostair as my preventer (pink) which I’ve doubled as standard because of the cold weather. I also used to use the same tablets as you. But struggled to swallow them.

I had my asthma review in November, then a follow up review. They then wanted another follow up which I had to cancel due to kids being off.

So I’ll be booking that next week when the festivities are finished. Xx

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That must be terrifying for you. We all know what not breathing well feels like and the thought of your inhaler being removed is awful.

However from a clinical viewpoint if your asthma is well controlled you shouldn’t be using the ventolin so much, their worry is that your asthma is unstable and you’re more at risk of a major attack. Doesn’t sound like they’re proposing a solution though! From my own experience I saw a specialist who changed my preventer inhaler to a different dose and also a different delivery method. I now use an accuhaler instead of an evohaler and rarely need to touch my ventolin. I feel less panicky about my breathing too as it feels better controlled. I now also use a nasal spray and take Montelukasts and Fexofenadine to control my allergic responses to things too.

My GP referred me to see a consultant but there was a long wait. I paid privately as I was so scared and worried by that point and it was the best £200 I have ever spent.

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Hi Clarejonno,

To feel uncomfortable when asking for life saving medication such as salbutamol doesn't sound like a good working relationship with this GP and/or nurse. You need to get another GP. You are right. They are not listening and, in my experience, it is a waste of your time to keep trying. They won't change their minds and you need help and someone who will listen and work "with" you. You definitely need the salbutamol when you need it! The majority of doctors would not refuse you this when it is needed so don't be afraid to ask. Also see if you can get them, or a new doctor, to refer you to a specialist. It is probably time to get a thorough checkup from a consultant. Sometimes GPs don't like to refer, so if that is the case, either push for it or get another GP.

I can't use regular preventers as they make me worse so I can only rely on Salbutamol. To make matters a little more complicated I am allergic to the CFC propellant in the Ventolin so I have to rely on the rotacaps and rotahaler. I have done this for many years now so I find it works just as well for me but I have to make sure that I have a ready supply as it has to be ordered in for me. I am also allergic to cats and almost immediately will need to use Ventolin (salbutamol) when I am around them. (My eyes, nose and lungs react very badly to them). In Qld Australia we can readily buy salbutamol from the chemist. They legally have to give us the third degree when we buy it - such as - Do you use a preventer? When was the last time you saw a doctor? However it is worthwhile when you forget to bring your medicine etc. The main reason was not to have a situation where someone desperately needs it and isn't allowed to get it without a doctor's prescription.

This is a life-saving medication and you need it readily available. Just saw an article you may be interested in.

theguardian.com/commentisfr...

Hope the info in here helps!

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Hello.... I haven’t read all the replies so don’t know whether I’m going to say anything new. I’ve had asthma since I was little and think that if your GP sees you are using too much of your blue inhaler they need to provide a preventative inhaler ... and if you already have one and you are still using the blue one they should increase the dose or change it. But know that they cannot leave you without treatment.

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Just read your reply.... your preventative medication can’t be preventing if you still need your blue one!

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Hi Clarejonno I also had a similar problem when I changed GP last year. There is a doctor who really doesn't like to prescribe meds- told me not to take the blue inhaler though its on my asthma plan given to me by the practice nurse and he wouldn't give me a rescue pack but there are 2 other doctors at the practice who I find more empathetic and listen to my needs so I try to avoid the other GP. I think a new doctor can be sceptical because he/she doesn't understand your condition as he/she doesn't know your history blow by blow.

If there aren't any other doctors at the surgery to talk to then I would advise asking to see a specialist at the hospital.

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Hi Claire,

I agree with Bayley you really need to talk to a consultant in respitory medicine. It is not within the remit of a GP to provide prescriptions or treatment for complex lung conditions.I have asthma and bronchiectasis,there are so many variables that it would be quite impractical for a GP to cover all aspects of lung disease as well as the full bag he/she already carries.

My advice is lean and lean hard to obtain a second opinion.Its your life and well being that matters not theirs!

Best of luck.XX

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Clarejonno

Hi There is news about that the blue reliever is likely to be used too much and it may even come off the market. It would be bad for me as I use it a lot when out & about. Unfortunately the GP is the only person that can give you the prescription for salbutamol and he/her is probably acting on the very latest advice from NHS. You already use Fostair, is that with an aero chamber? or on it's own. Bulky things to carry about but does it help? It would seem that you may have to either change your GP to one who is more forgiving or go private, unfortunately this route will likely cost you more for prescriptions. You sound a bit between a rock & a hard place so sorry.

IKeith

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Ive been told 1 salbutamol inhaler should last approx 4 weeks, ive had chest infections and used 1 per week, dispensary always check ok to do so as toi often but when i see dr they never refuse. Do you use a nebuliser when reslly bad does help and uses less blue inhaler.. ,

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I have asthma and COPD and am prescribed Fostair 1 puff twice a day, Spiriva one puff a day and Ventolin as and when needed. I always understood that Spiriva was the long-term so-called preventor and that Fostair was the daily reliever - steroidal, but can be used more often for emergency relief if needed. NHS are desperately trying to cost-cut at the expense of patients while the drug companies are taking them to the cleaners! A panel of housewives would probably get a better deal since we have to get the best deals - too many snouts in the trough, as usual.

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Be sure to check when you change GPs I have just changed as I was fed up doctor doesn't want you at the surgery unless you're really ill and then they'll just tell you to go to hospital. See my previous post re GPs. Anyway the new GPs are telling me it takes 4-6 weeks for your notes to transfer. It seems the GP is behaving like banks and the gas board getting the hump if you change supplier. Ask first. Very best wishes Phil x

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