Did your health deteriarate all at once?

I was diagnosed with COPD about 5 years ago. I've been on the usual various medications over the years but managed to keep working doing medium/heavy manual work including snow shifting on the shovel until last winter when I really struggled. My health and ability to do strenuous work seemed to deteriorate all at once. From last march (2012) I have been less active, felt lifeless and suffered more chest infections than ever before. Is this the normal way COPD suddenly comes on when progressing into the next stage? I had an appointment with a chest specialist at hospital on the 30th January, but as soon as he saw my medication (Clenil Modulate, Atrovent and Atimos modulite which I was fine with) he changed me onto Spiriva and Seretide 500.

I told him that my practice nurse had tried me on Spiriva before and my peak flow dropped by 75 so she put me straight back on my old medications again and I was fine again. He said he wasn’t concerned about my peak flow and said I should give them two months to get into my system. I feel worse now with Spiriva than I did on the others but I am giving them a chance until I go to see the specialist again on the 11th April. Has anyone else had this problem with Spiriva and Seretide? Surely as with all medication, what suits one person doesn't suit another.



18 Replies

Hi dpcaretaker, well your right what suits one may cause problems for another. I take the drugs you have been given without any probs. I recall someone saying peak flow is more relevant in Asthma than inCOPD, but maybe you should contact the BLF nurses and see what they advise. Good luck

I am on Spiriva and find it really helps me. I'm not surprised that your GP wasn't concerned about peak flow as that is used as a measure for asthma. Spirometry is used for copd. That seems to be a misconception that many people share.

Lynne xx

peakflow seems to mirror spirometry results ?

You are quite right that each person can be suited by different meds. However your GP is also right that Spiriva & Seretide need to be given time to work. My OH has severe COPD/Emphysema and those two drugs have been truly life changing for him with the improvements he has made since being on them. However it was at least 3 weeks before he noticed the improvement and over 3 months it has progressed. so perhaps you should give it a chance. Good Luck..

Can confirm Spiriva works well for me and peak flow is not as important as spirometry and the FEV1 that gives some indication of COPD condition for the doctors.

Persevere with treatment asking for spirometry that records progress which is relevant in COPD.

I'm on Seretide 500 and Sprivia.The Seretide is very good I find but the Spirivia doesn't do a thing as far as I can tell.

I was diagnosed 7 years ago with moderate illness and progressed to severe 2012. In the last year my COPD has really deteriorated. I had continuous infections throughout 2012 get breathless very easily now. I find the salbutamol inhaler doesn't do anything these days although I still use it with a spacer out of habit.

I have an appointment for CT scan in April and I will have many questions to ask. I find a peak flow meter handy for use when exercising.

Keep taking the Seretide and smiling!! :)

Many thanks for all your replies, I had a CT scan on the 21st Feb but I have to wait until my next appointment with the specialist in April to find out what this has revealed. Back to my previous medication, I found if I over exerted myself and became breathless a couple of shots of Atrovent and I was back on my feet. (Ventolin does nothing for me whats so ever, it may as well be compressed air) with Spiriva and Seretide it's one dose in the morning then I have no emergency back up.

I've had numerous Spirometry tests done over the years but I was lead to believe that the practice nurse used the peak flow meter just to keep an intrim note of any change in my condition on my 3 monthly check-ups.


I was diagnosed 5 years ago with copd and took a turn for the worse in 2012. It seems a few of us did, makes me wonder if there was anything in the air.

Hello dpcaretaker. I was diagnosed a decade ago and managed perfectly well at moderate stage until I had pneumonia a few years ago, after which I went dramatically downhill. It's important you look after yourself well, don't ignore any warning signs of illness and make sure you have had the pneumonia jab (although I'd had mine a year before I got pneumonia!) and get your flu jab each year. Best wishes, George.

Yes I've had them both George thanks and now on the rehab course. I’m doing as much as I can to keep my health stable.


It certainly does make you wonder, I was ok until June last year (managing ok at work) until I was brought down by a chest infection. Usually a course of Amoxicillin 500mg and a week later I would be back at work. Sometimes I have even worked whilst taking the anti-biotics and been fine. This time was so different, I just couldn't get rid of it and was put on stronger meds but it was Christmas before I managed to shake it off. But in the long term my body has got weaker; I now have trouble walking outside more than 50 meters on level ground in cold weather. If it's mild I obviously can do some more. But I'm now thinking I have gone to stage 3 possibly early stages of 4.


Martin1945 has a blog "It's only a number" a little positive when living with this disease as we are able.

Wake up in morning.Take pulse - if there is one, get up and fight another day. If married, get wife to take pulse and then go back to sleep.

I deteriorated in 2012, now severe stage 4 and on oxygen 15/24 to keep the heart failure at bay, wonder could it have been something to do with the lousy weather (no summer really), oh well onwards and upwards! Glass half full!

Carole x

Lol @ Hamletvv I can see some verbal from the ladies on this site mate. You live a dangerous life. Lol.

I'll check that blog out Martin. Cheers.

Carol, you may just have something in your comment. Last year we went to Turkey and i felt 100% better than i do now. Very little wheezing and swimming wasn't much of a problem either. Emigrate. May just be the answer. Lol

Kos did the same for me :)

i to have problems with spiriva, as soon as i take it its hard to breath it just lays on my chest and it takes to hours for it to get out of my chest, my presure drop, i told my doctor and he took me off it, he put me on another one but it had the same meds in it and did the same, i cant take it, now i am just taking my symbicort twice a day and doing my nebalizer and oxygen and i dont feel bad. i where plastic gloves when i go out so i dont get sick

Hi dpcaretaker :) I to am on Spiriva ,seritide 500 accuhaler and Salbutamol . I find if i take them "properly" they help wonders. I was diagnosed with COPD 16 years ago when i was 26 . I was first given Ventolin and (omg memory laps here) the brown inhaler. 5 years later i was told i had asthma, put on spiriva capsuals to be taken once a day also they changed me from the brown inhaler to seretide .. I defo got to say i felt a big difference in myself with the change of medication . I defo think your right not everyone is the same some meds work better for some than others ..

At my last visit last year with my lung specialist he told me i was on the best meds out of them all maybe that's just his point of view , i know not all docs are the same ... Oh the brown one think it was called Bricanyl

thanks mizzymac :)

Hi, My husband was diagnosed about 8 years ago - but was probably suffering for years before! He was never first in the queue when he had infections and he used to think the body could find them without antibiotics! About 2/3 years ago he had a really really bad winter and was just constantly ill. Once over that he never recovered to where he was BUT has been steady ever since. A few infections a year that seem to clear up with steroids and antibiotics (fingers crossed!). The pulmonary rehab was really helpful - I think it preserved his quality of life. He is on Spiriva once a day and has been for some time - he often says he is not sure it does anything! But as I understand it - the Spiriva opens the airways so perhaps the advantages are not so easy to notice. He found the blue inhaler - ventolin OK but gives him really bad cramps so tries not to use it. He is not on seretide at all.

You could ring the BLF helpline and ask their advise about your meds.

We need some warm weather and some sun - that would help! Good luck and stay positive! TAD xx

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