Am I taking the right medication?

I am new to this community and was wondering if anybody can help me. I live in Cyprus and was diagnosed with emphysema last February and gave up smoking last March.

The GP I saw here prescribed Ventolin and on the whole I could manage the daily housework etc although I did get breathless but it wasn't that bad.

I then visited my daughter in the UK last June and by the time I had walked from the plane to baggage collection I was gasping for breath. To cut a long story short the A & E dept confirmed the emphysema and gave me prednisolone and more ventolin. Three weeks later I was back in sunny and warm Cyprus and began to feel slightly better. After another visit to the GP he prescribed atrovent, venolin and more prednisolone and I wasn't improving that much so I visited a specialist last November. I have had a chest xray and CT scan which again confirms the emphysema with signs of bronchiolitis.

At the moment i am taking spiriva respimat once a day, miflonide twice a day, foradil 3 times a day and uniphyllin once a day along with oxygen which started at 8 hours a day has been increased to 15 hours a day. Although the specialist speaks very good English I think the language difference is not helping me understand why I need to take all these different inhalers which incidently cost a small fortune here.

Any comments would be much appreciated.

14 Replies

  • Welcome Cyprus Pat,

    A very supportive little community we are here

    Lucky you in the climate you are in, I am turning green in this freezing cold February evening ;)

    It really sounds like you would benefit from talking to BLF helpline

    Assuming you are back in Cyprus now, email them and they will give you the best advice



  • Thanks I will drop them an email.. We do have winter here too!! Admittedly not freezing but it can feel quite cold sometimes.

  • Hi, I have advanced emphysema and have ventolin, spireva, symbicort, uniphyllin and carbocisteine. Some of the drugs you take are the same, others not, but because the same sort of inhaler can be called a different name it's hard to know. The only one I can manage without is the Ventolin. The prednisolone is a steroid and for use when you have a bad flare up, but I do know some people take them all the time. Some of the inhalers will be relievers and some are preventers. Sorry I can't be of more help - although it's very likely someone else will be able to help you better. Libby

  • Thanks for your reply Libby. My emphysema is severe according to the FEV test although I'm not quite sure I understand the printouts I was given. The symbicort you have is the same as the Foradil i have. Are you on oxygen? According to the research I have done on the Internet my medication seem to be all maintenance.and no relievers.


  • Hi Pat, I don't have oxygen, my O2 levels are always very good. I'm a co2 retainer and any oxgen has to be very closely monitored as you could end up with too much which could ultimately kill you. So I don't have it. Having too much oxygen reminds me of this - don't know if you remember the old Norman Wisdom films, there was one where he was on a boat in a wetsuit and big underwater helmet when his suit somehow got inflated and he shot off over the sea whizzing about like a balloon does!! Ha ha ha. Do you still have Ventolin, that's a reliever, though it does nothing for me. Libby

  • A Think Its Result Of Plane Journey Pressure On Your Weak Lungs Clean Air On Planes Is At A Premium So They Would Of Not Taken Sick Into Consideration

    Hope Its Just A Case Of Things Needing To Settle Back Down And Like @libby7827 Says Need To Email BLF

    All The Best

  • Thanks for your reply. It does seem to be taking a long time to settle down again as I'm taking so much more inhalers than before I went to UK. My 3rd grandchild arrived last week and I should visit but I'm not sure I can do another plane journey if i end up like last time.


  • Is Hard ... Don't Want To Sound Harsh But Doors Swing Both Ways ... And Think Health As To Be Priority .... And There Is Internet Skype Not Like There Was Anything Like That When I Was Yonger

    Lucky If You Had One Tap Sticking Out Of Kitchen Wall ... But Yes At Risk Of Going On ..... Hope Things Settle Down ... All The Best

  • Hello and welcome,

    The ventolin inhaler is good for opening up your airways when you struggle to breathe. My dad was on spiriva for a long time and as I work in a pharmacy I noticed we started having the spiriva respimat in. i enquired with a pharamcist about it, thinking it be easier for dad and the feedback wasn't that positive so he remained on the spiriva capsules. I'm sorry I can't remember why but it may be worth you looking into it.

    Some of the drugs you have mentioned I havn't heard of but they could be brands unknown to me.

  • Thanks for your reply Tanya. Yes I haven't read good things about the respimat. I have just finished the one I have and think i will go back to the capsules. I haven't got to see the specialist here again for two months but as she prescribed the capsules first I don't see any harm in going back to them.


  • I am on the Spiriva capsules (used with the handihaler) and find it great. The only other thing I have is my ventolin inhaler which I rarely use. I am diagnosed as moderate.

    As suggested, talk to experts, but the level you are at might be a bit of a guide.

    Lynne xx

  • Thanks for your reply Lynne. I will email them for advice.


  • Hi Cypruspat and welcome to the forum.

    Well it is trying to snow here in Liverpool, i bet it is warm and sunny where you are!

    If you can e mail us we can arrange for you to speak to one of our experienced respiratory nurses about your condition. They won't be able to comment on how COPD is managed in Cyprus as this may differ to the UK, but they should be able to point you in the right direction and advise on how COPD is managed in the UK - you can e mail us at -

    I hope this is helpful.

    Best Wishes


  • Thanks for your reply Jo. I'm sure it is warmer here and we certainly see a lot more sun but it is winter here too. The temperature can drop as low as 15 degrees which I'm sure you're thinking that's 15 degrees more than it is here, but it does feel cold in the house. Sometimes it's warmer outside than in as they don't build the houses here with cavities or insulation!!! I will send an email to the helpline as you have suggested.


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