Fostair : Hi all. I have recently been... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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Hi all. I have recently been given the dual action inhaler fostair to use. I was on clenil but was using my ventolin every day so was put on fostair. I find it ok overall but I kind of feel that my breathing is at 90% rather than breathing easily which I can when I use ventolin. I have only been on fostair for 10 days so maybe I need to give it more time to work? I also am getting some palpitations here and there. Should I wait and see if things settle down. I'm trying not to use the ventolin as I'm not struggling exactly but it is tempting. Also I find my leg muscles feel a bit weird. Can't explain how though. Has anyone else had issues that settled after a while. Also how long will it take for the fostair to give its full effect on reducing any inflammation. And does it in fact reduce inflammation or just stop any further inflammation from forming. I did mention this to my gp and she said give it time. And that I may possibly be focusing on my breathing too much. Thanks.

18 Replies

It's hard not to focus on your breathing when you're struggling to breathe. I had fostair for 6 months this year. Not only did it not help but it made things a lot worse. And I had lots of awful Side effects from it. But I know it's really good for some people. Sometimes you do need a while for a new medication to start taking effect though. I hope you start to feel better soon but if not, I hope your doctor listens to you if you say it's not working for you. Good luck 🤞

Hi HHP can I ask what side effects you had with fostair?

The main one for me was, it had the opposite effect of what it's supposed to do and I was struggling to breathe. Somehow, I don't understand how, it made me feel like I was breathing through a very narrow straw. In the end I was put on Pred. I guess as a result of not breathing well, I was breathless doing the slightest thing. I had really bad shakes and was always dropping things, my arms would feel like jelly too. It gave me bad headaches and cramps (I get both anyway but it made things worse) and I slept even worse. Also I seemed to have really bad nightmares. But at the time the thing that bothered me the most was the itching, it felt like I was being eaten alive by fleas or insects. The itching was so bad, at the appointment with when I was prescribed Pred, I was more interested in talking about the itching than about feeling like I couldn't breathe. Are you on fostair? How are you doing (and your hedgehog family)?

Hi Gazza01 and anyone else who might know

You say you was put on fostair because you use your ventoline everyday..i also use mine everyday when i get wheezy or hard to breath more so evenings or when in bed and just one puff and ok for 5 or 7 hours and have used just ventline for about 3 years one bottle can last me at the moment 2/3 months

may i ask how many times you were useing your ventoline during the day and why did you have to change to fostair if ventoline was ok for you

I was put on spiriva capsule a month ago but do not feel any change has the ventoline just seems to help me at the moment

Best wishes


in reply to music

I've been told by professionals that using ventolin 10 or more times a week is excessive and a review would be necessary.

Garza, since being put on Fostair I've hardly used Ventolin at all.

My dosage is 2 puffs twice daily, for 8 months of the year I only need 1 puff twice daily. The beauty of Fostair is that it's licenced to raise or lower the dose according to your needs. You should have received a smart little booklet from the pharmacist explaining its use.

I do hope it works for you but we're all different aren't we! P

in reply to music

Hi I had been using my ventolin every day but you should not need to. If you do then your asthma or copd is not controlled. It means you need a preventer inhaler as well or a stronger/ more suitable preventer inhaler so ventolin use is for when you can't get your breath rather than the norm.

in reply to Gazza01

Thanks for reply Gazza01 and peege

I thought i was doing well on just the ventoline,, but that could be be the reason my nurse has give me Spiriva capsule to try has well.

I wonder why if your not ment to use it all the time that the ventoline is on my monthly repeat prescribtion

It do say on the lable two puffs when needed four times a day so that could be 8 puffs a day and i only have just the one sometimes two single puffs of it of a night.

All very confusing to me but our gp must know best

but then saying that when i was diagnosed 6 years ago i was prescribed seretide 500 and after a year i ask if i could try and see how i get on without the seretide and have been without it for 5 years now just ventoline

Mind you i do a lot of walking and swimming so that may help and i know we all are diffrent with this copd

Very beast wishes


Hi Gazza

Sorry to hear of your problems on Fostair...

I have COPD and Bronchiectasis... Been on Fostair myself for 3yrs now and it's the one I rely on more than Ventolin etc. I started on the powder inhaler, but changed over to the normal aerosol about a year or so ago, it suits me much better.

As Fostair is a Steroid inhaler I have been told ONLY to take 2 inhalations in morning and 2 at night. Other than that I must use my Ventolin any time it's needed during the day, although I try to limit this to when I feel desperate. (ie: Fostair should not be used instead of Ventolin - but alongside it).

Don't know what you have been advised, but I would assume any over-use of Fostair would cause some problems such as mild palpitations - shakes - jitters etc, due to the steroid intake.

NHS advice here:-

If you can manage it, Pulmonary Rehab it improves most peoples condition quickly

and makes you less reliant on your inhalers (your doctor can refer you):-

Try daily breathing exercises too if you can (morning and night):-

Hope this is some help - take care...


in reply to Zenga

Hi thanks for the reply. I find it ok generally but I exercise a lot too and still find I feel a bit restricted sometimes. I asked the GP's if it's OK to use ventolin before exercise but she seemed to think any use of ventoline other than for rescue is wrong. The palpitations are bugging me though I have to say. Although I am going through a stressful time at the moment so hopefully when things calm down and my stress levels lower things might fall into place a bit more with the palpitations and also the breathing.

in reply to Zenga

Am on Fostair and Ventolin as well as sprivea. For years have used Ventolin any time I felt the need. Various medical staff have recommended the Ventolin for before exercise, before other inhalers, and generally as needed. Wondering why you are cautioned not to use. I find it helpful throughout the day when walking up a steep hill.

Hi, sorry you are having problems with fostair. I'm also having problems with it still after 3 years but when I mention it to GPs the response I get is "it's helping you to breathe".

I have also come across conflicting advice on using it. Normal dose is 2 puffs twice a day for me. In the summer I had even more trouble breathing and was told by a GP I could increase it if needed to a total of 10 single puffs a day and that's after increasing the ventolin to the same level.

To be totally honest I don't think they (GPs) have a clue. An even better example of their ignorance is after having a CT scan earlier this year and diagnosed with Emphasyma and bronchiectasis a GP sent me a leaflet on bronchiectasis on line and that is all. No referral, no explanation and no review of the inhalers. I even had to ask for some antibiotics for a chest infection which the GP grudgingly gave me.

That is outrageous. I really don’t think anyone diagnosed with heart disease or indeed any other disease would just be sent a leaflet and that’s it, no medication review or guidance on how to manage your condition or support or follow up. But I think you’re right and GPs often don’t have a clue. When I had Fostair I was told to take 2 puffs morning and evening. But that I could use it as a reliever too. So I don’t know how many puffs were the correct dose. When I said repeatedly that Fostair isn’t helping at all and in fact I couldn’t breathe, I got told things like, no one else has complained, everyone else is happy with it. Even if it is helping you to breathe, if you’re having problems with it after all this time then it’s not right.

At least here there are people who can answer any and all questions you have. I’ve got more answers and information and support here than I’ve had all my life. I hope you can find the same support here too even though you should be getting the explanations from your doctor. Take care of yourself 💐

it's shocking just how ignorant GPs can be but even worse when they look at you as if you're either making it up or got a screw loose. At least one of them in the summer when things got back had the brains to check my blood oxygen levels and said they were rather low, thats the one who told me I could increase the Fostair as and when needed.

Last night my breathing became very shallow and I was struggling again so I upped both the Ventolin and Fostair which help me some. Not as bad this morning but still having to take extra doses of both the inhalers and am wondering if I should start increasing the Spivira from 1 to 2 times a day. It's great isn't it when basically you are having to try things out for yourself because the doctors are either that clueless and ignorant or just don't care enough to either research or refer you on.

The crazy thing at the moment along with the lungs is the ever present rash on my back that came up soon after being given these two inhalers. Got referred to dermatology a few years back and they said vasculitis after treating it as an allergy with no success for 18 months. Then had to be referred to rheumatology for other problems cropping up. They are the ones who sent me for a CT scan that showed the "COPD" was in fact emphasyma, bronchiectasis with some fibrosis. They also referred me to a different dermatologist who strongly thinks the rash on my back is Jessners Lymphocytic infiltration. Somewhat different to vasculitis it's more linked to either a benign (harmless) type of skin cancer or Discoid Lupus. The later can be due to a reaction to certain meds. So now I'm waiting to see what happens with the very strong steroid cream he's prescribed and when he sends me for a slice biopsy from my back.

To cap it all the bloods test they have sent me on have shown that there is a problem with the red cell being way to high but GP says they're all okay and clear.

Oh well thats enough of my woe's and moaning.

Take care X

Hi Gazza01, I tried Fostair and felt like my heart was racing out of my chest, I only used 1 puff instead of the two as I react strongly to all medications , the chemist rang me after a few weeks and told me to stop using it, I agreed as I didnt feel well on this medication but some people find it wonderful, we are all different and you have to find what is right for you. I am still looking. Irene x

Hi Gazza

I use fostair but have loads of side effects. It gives me leg cramps, headaches and palpitations, so I came down to 1 puff twice a day. My lung consultant said most effects go after a while, but it is clearly a strong drug with high levels of steroid and beta agonists in it.

No one really knows what my problem is, despite a ct scan. I developed pneumonia over the summer and now have severe asthma and a chesty cough . The thing that has helped me most is buying an acapella from amazon and having a session with a respiratory physio. That brings up a lot of gunk then I can use the fostair less.

Good luck and best wishes.

in reply to Hellodolly

I am on Fostair and have been for a couple of years I have no problems with it at all but everyone is different

Hi there.

I was changed from Clenil MODULITE to FOSTAIR a month ago. When I saw the respiratory physio this week he said that FOSTAIR is now the drug of choice as it is far superior.

I hate taking new meds or changing but I have to say I was using my Ventolin about 4 times a day and since taking FOSTAIR and now I probably only use it once a day. That’s a huge change for me and I definitely do not feel so s.o.b.

I too am not clear about whether it clears or stops inflammation as I did not think to ask!

Perhaps ask your gp how long it takes to settle with a new drug?

Each of us is different so if you are not completely happy then go back to your gp or nurse.

There are lots of comments about gps limited knowledge of respiratory problems which is understandable and it took me 2 years to get a referral to a specialist nurse and that’s when I was put on Fostair as they are specialists in reading your Spirometery results.

Good luck and keep asking questionsof your gp.

Well after a few more days of sticking with the fostair I had no choice but to stop. The palpitations and irregular heartbeat plus wave after wave of anxiety were too much to bare. I think it's the long acting part of it that is the problem. As I have anxiety issues anyway it probably was always going to be bad choice for me. Spoke to one of the GPs today and said I wanted just a good preventer. Plus my ventolin as a back up of course. As I believe the cleniI I was on before is a bit old Skool and not a fine particle preventer. After some research I found qvar, although similar to clenil it is a finer particle preventer and more powerful than clenil (even though my local chemist told me clenil and qvar are exactly the same but made by different companies...wrong) so the gp has said to give it a go and see how I get on. So I shall start on that soon. I need to let the fostair get right out of my system first. It's supposed to be 12 hrs but I have been of it for 36 now and am still feeling some small effects still. Will let you know how I get on. By the way. I also had issues with my legs on fostair, I exercise quite a bit and felt like my upper leg muscles were very strange feeling. Almost felt numb and sort of solid. They went back to normal feeling the day after I stopped the fostair. Thanks.

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