As I said in my last post, Symbicort and I haven’t been getting on very well and although I am grateful that Symbicort has pretty much calmed my lungs down, I am finding it hard to deal with a potentially serious side effect… Paradoxical bronchospasm. According to my GP the coughing I have been experiencing after taking my Symbicort is actually a reaction to the medication but we both believe that it is a result of Symbicort being a dry powder inhaler rather than the actual medication itself.
This morning I phoned my GP to try and swap Symbicort to another combination inhaler which contains Formoterol as I feel that this LABA works better for me than Serevent ever did. Unfortunately, my GP isn’t that clued up on asthma meds and wanted me to try Clenil 100mcg (dark brown inhaler) twice a day which is ludicrous since I am just about controlled on 600mcg of steroid (which would be Clenil 100 3 puffs twice a day) and on top of that, Clenil doesn’t contain a LABA. I explained all of this to my GP who was really understanding and asked what medication I would suggest. I told him that the only two combination inhalers that I know of, which contain Formoterol, are Flutiform and Fostair. I don’t really know of much difference between Flutiform and Fostair, other than the steroid component so I figured it didn’t really matter which one I tried since I could always swap to the other if things went pear shaped. So it was decided that I am going to try Flutiform and see if that causes any coughing, and if it does then we shall try Fostair.
Flutiform contains Fluticasone as it’s steroid component and Formoterol as it’s LABA component and comes in 3 doses. I have been prescribed the middle dose of 125/5 with two puffs twice a day. My GP has said that my script is waiting at the Surgery’s reception for me to go and collect but unfortunately I can’t collect it until Wednesday or Thursday. I tried to explain this to the GP and asked if he would be able to send it to a pharmacy nearer where I go to college but because I didn’t know the fax number for any of the pharmacies near me (not many people would, I imagine) it wouldn’t be possible. So now I am staying on Symbicort until Wednesday or Thursday but I have been told to use Ventolin before I take Symbicort and to keep it near by in the hours following a dose to try and prevent/reduce the severity of the paradoxical bronchospasms I experience. Thankfully, after I have got this initial prescription, I can order my Flutiform online into a Pharmacy closer to my college so I can get it more easily.
I am still going to be sad to see Symbicort go since I have been on it for over a year, which is the longest I have ever been on any asthma medication, other than Ventolin. I’m really hoping that I won’t need to change medications again, and that I am able to reduce the amount of medication I need back down to Clenil or even nothing at all, however that isn’t a reasonable expectation right now. But it is a hope for the future.