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SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
8/10/13 4:37 P

Symbicort is a really, really odd choice as a first-line treatment.

"Long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists (LABA), such as formoterol one of the active ingredients in Symbicort, increase the risk of asthma-related death. Data from a large placebo-controlled U.S. study that compared the safety of another long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (salmeterol) or placebo added to usual asthma therapy showed an increase in asthma-related deaths in patients receiving salmeterol. ... Therefore, when treating patients with asthma, Symbicort should only be used for patients not adequately controlled on a long-term asthma-control medication such as an inhaled corticosteroid or whose disease severity clearly warrants initiation of treatment with both an inhaled corticosteroid and LABA. Once asthma control is achieved and maintained, assess the patient at regular intervals and step down therapy (e.g. discontinue Symbicort) if possible without loss of asthma control, and maintain the patient on a long-term asthma control medication, such as inhaled corticosteroid. Do not use Symbicort for patients whose asthma is adequately controlled on low or medium dose inhaled corticosteroids.

I have asthma, which is usually under control but I do wheeze when running hard. I just take a hit off of my albuterol (rescue) inhaler. And that is sufficient unless I have bronchitis or something. Symbicort and inhalers like Advair are long-acting and typically used when shorter-acting inhalers or meds like Singulair don't work. I have used them when I've had bronchitis and people with severe asthma (doesn't sound like you) use them, but only for the shortest length of time possible. Also, they take a few days of regular use to really control symptoms.

Of course, listen to your doctor and make your own decisions. I'm just sharing my knowledge and experience, not a medical opinion.

I, along with my doctor, have opted for a much more conservative approach, using albuterol for exercise-induced symptoms. It does the trick and doesn't pose the same danger. I would read up more on the FDA cautions on Symbicort and perhaps get another opinion.

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8/10/13 12:06 P

Good to hear. Isn't it nice to breath again?

8/10/13 11:59 A

Thank you very much to all of you for your advice and encouragement! I got myself a prescription for Symbicort (thank heavens for health coverage! That stuff is NOTcheap)and tries one puff today. Absolutely HUGE difference!

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8/8/13 3:15 P

I was diagnosed with asthma as an adult (although looking back if I was a kid now, I've had it all my life, but they diagnose it differently now). It's really nothing to mess around with. Yes, the albuterol has a side effect of making your heart race. But, it will also have the effect of you breathing better which will make you feel better overall. I've had periods of bad asthma control and periods of really good asthma control and the quality of life differences are just incredible.

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8/8/13 12:56 P


Can My Exercise-Induced Asthma Be Prevented?

Yes. Asthma inhalers or bronchodilators used prior to exercise can control and prevent exercise-induced asthma symptoms. The preferred asthma medications are short-acting beta-2 agonists such as albuterol. Taken 10 minutes before exercise, these medications can prevent the airways from contracting and help control exercise-induced asthma.

Another asthma treatment that may be useful when taken before exercise is inhaled cromolyn sodium, such as Intal or Tilade 15, to 20 minutes before exercise.

Having good control of asthma in general will also help prevent exercise-induced symptoms. Medications that may be part of routine asthma management include inhaled corticosteroids. In some cases, a long-acting beta-2 agonist, such as Serevent or Foradil, may be added to the treatment regimen.

The takeaway I got when reading this is there are a lot of different medications you can try to combat this, so don't settle for one thing if it isn't working for you. You may want to google "exercise induced asthma".

8/7/13 7:07 P

That's really reassuring, so thanks for sharing! I'm pretty sure my inhaler is waaaaay out of date, so I'll have to pop in at a clinic or something, but if it makes that much of difference, maybe it's worth the wonky feeling!

8/7/13 10:40 A

I have asthma, but I too never used inhalers (in adulthood). I also started walking/running and I started wheezing pretty heavily, but I brushed it aside and just dealt with it.

I recently went to the doctor and he asked..".so..why aren't you using your inhaler??" Apparently, even outside of exercise I have a mild wheeze. I decided to give one another shot. I also got one of those nifty lil finger dealies (technical term, of course) that reads your blood oxygen level.

In any case, I did a lil experiment. I ran, then measured my blood oxygen. It was low. I ran another day, after trying my inhaler, and then did it. It was normal. I was able to go way longer, way harder. I feel healthier! I'm like...wait..this is what normal people feel like??? They can breathe???

It's a huge improvement in my life. And I thought it wasn't a big deal. I thought, hey, everybody has asthma, whatever.

I gotta say, breathing normally is awesome. Yes, my inhaler (standard one) makes my heart race a lil and makes me feel a bit light heated. It's a pretty normal side effect. Even the doctor referenced it, saying:
"I know it makes you light-headed, but it will make exercise so much better!"

He was right. I love it, and I recommend finding a treatment option that works for you instead of just "dealing with it" the way I did for so long.

As far as o' natural treatments in lieu of a doc; sorry. I don't know of any, with the exception of perhaps breathing and meditation exercises to help your breath return quicker and to help you stay calm during an episode.

Best of luck with everything!

8/7/13 7:15 A

Anything I can do while I wait for a doc appt? In my area, there are so few doctors that it's really hard to get an appointment (sigh)

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8/7/13 12:24 A

Mrstightwad is right. You should talk to your doctor. There are a few different types of inhalers you can try before giving up entirely. Some bother me while others don't.

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8/6/13 11:47 P

Mild tachycardia is a normal side effect of many inhalers. I would suggest going back to your doctor, explaining what is going on, and getting proper treatment. You may need to go through testing again to determine what exactly is going on. It is entirely possible that your asthma is advancing.

8/6/13 9:59 P

I recently started a Couch to 10k program. I'm in week 6 of 14, running for a total of less than 20 minutes a session, and I'm having problems with wheezing. It's actually most noticeable when I get home and cool down. I was diagnosed with mild asthma as a child, but I don't have an inhaler because it makes my heart race and I almost never need it. Any tips for me?

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