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Old 03-01-2004, 01:23 AM   #1
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byrdwoman HB User
Anxiety meds for asthma?

Does anyone have anxiety attacks with there asthma. I had a major anxiety attack years ago with a asthma attack. The dr. put me on ativan. It really help to calm me down. I had to explain to my new doctor who didn't want to prescribe ativan that if he was drowning and gasping for air wouldn't he want to be relaxed? He fumbled around with the theory, but is still hesititate to prescribe them in the future. He is a young doctor and explained he doesn't believe of anxiety meds in his practice. So im looking for a new doctor. Not because he won't give me anxiety meds. Because he has already shown me on this issue and a few others he is shallow. With being asthmatic all my life i don't need a shallow doctor that seems like a robot when you talk to him. Sometimes when i go to see him i feel he is going to put me on the table to scan me like a piece of merchandise. Like im just a number and its his way or the highway. Just curious if anyone else takes something to calm them especially when taking predinosone.
Jane

Last edited by byrdwoman; 03-01-2004 at 01:24 AM.

 
Old 03-28-2004, 08:39 PM   #2
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Re: Anxiety meds for asthma?

Hi, Just saw your last post.

I have also found that anti-anxiety meds like ativan help to relax some asthma symptoms. And the stress of not being able to breathe also causes tightening, so relaxing is a good thing. However, all the benzo's: ativan, valium, xanax, can have an interdose backlash effect. When they wear off or if you get acclimated, can cause much worse anxiety/panic/stress symptoms than before. Your body gets easily acclimated to a dose, then needs more or starts to withdraw. The withdrawal symptoms can be very stressful and feel like sheer panic, thus plummeting you into a vicious cycle. Withdrawal from prednisone can also cause anxiety/stress, so some docs supplement prednisone withdrawal with anti-anxiety meds. It's a tricky and dangerous game of balancing the two without making symptoms worse. I was on 70 mg. of prednisone titrating down by 10 mg. every two days for asthma. When I got down to 20 mg. I started to have severe prednisone withdrawal symptoms even though only on it 23 days. Extreme anxiety, tremors, weak, sweating, vibrating, seizure-like sensations, etc. Doc put me on .5 ativan rather than increasing the prednisone. It helped. I wouldn't want to stay on ativan more than 2 weeks though or the withdrawal anxiety will kick in. Hope this helps. Cloie

 
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Old 03-29-2004, 05:09 AM   #3
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Re: Anxiety meds for asthma?

Hi
If you find anxiety makes the asthma worse it may be worth trying to get a referal to a speech pathologist to see if you have something like vocal chord dysfunction, which can contribute to asthma symptoms and make attacks worse. It is something which can be treated by doing excersises and training yourself not to do it, although it is not a voluntary concious thing. It can actually mimic asthma and you may find that it makes a real difference to you asthma symptoms, it can be severe enough to require a tracheostomy!
I get really bad depression esp with the pred and take deptran (i think thats how it's spelt) to minimise symptoms, doesn't work though. Maybe some kind of counselling or therapy would be beneficial. Please don't feel that I don't understand. I am a Brittle Asthmatic and have bad attacks once a week, and was recently in intensive care after an attack. I know how scarey they can be and I do suffer from the VCD I mentioned earlier. When they first suggested it I thought they were trying to tell me that I didn't have asthma and that it was all in my head. But that isn't it at all, I'm starting treatment next week, so keep your fingers crossed for me!
Take care and I hope you feel better soon.x x x
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Old 03-29-2004, 05:13 PM   #4
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byrdwoman HB User
Re: Anxiety meds for asthma?

I know what usually causes a asthma attack. Thats simple. But what i don't understand how a therapist is going to help me when i am at 100 on my peak flow meter. Is she going to help with breathing techniques. I just am alittle confused on how a therapist can help a asthmatic. Unless there asthma attacks are brought on by anxiety or stress things in that nature. But, not pollen, dust, mold or smoke.

 
Old 03-29-2004, 06:25 PM   #5
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Re: Anxiety meds for asthma?

The stress reaction is amazing when it comes to respiratory problems; I've been at the crux a few times of hospitalization vs. complete recovery and the only thing that kept me out of the hospital was refusing to panic.

The ativan/xanax etc is great for taking the edge off, because the main reason for getting hospitalized is because you go into respiratory failure -- it's a lot easier to draw out your reserves and not fail if you're not panicking.

That's all it is though -- it isn't treating your asthma, per se, just keeping you from hella-panicking so your compromised status doesn't get more compromised for no reason.

Last edited by wrin; 03-29-2004 at 06:26 PM.

 
Old 03-29-2004, 07:30 PM   #6
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Re: Anxiety meds for asthma?

Hi blue,

I'm certain I must have vocal chord dysfunction, because I can't carry a tune to save my life. Almost tone deaf, despite loving music and loving singing. And my mother has perfect pitch...one of few gifted individuals who can tune a piano by ear. I'll bet there is a connection. I get very hoarse during asthma attacks, sometimes lose my voice, but always thought it was due to GERD. What kind of doc would I go to for vocal chord involvement? I don't really understand the connection. Cloie

 
Old 04-06-2004, 05:40 AM   #7
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Re: Anxiety meds for asthma?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloie
Hi blue,

I'm certain I must have vocal chord dysfunction, because I can't carry a tune to save my life. Almost tone deaf, despite loving music and loving singing. And my mother has perfect pitch...one of few gifted individuals who can tune a piano by ear. I'll bet there is a connection. I get very hoarse during asthma attacks, sometimes lose my voice, but always thought it was due to GERD. What kind of doc would I go to for vocal chord involvement? I don't really understand the connection. Cloie
Hi
You need a speech therapist/pathologist to get diagnosedf and treated, you may need a referal from your own docs. It's connected to asthma in a couple of ways. One is the panic element of the asthma attack, you tense the muscles in you larynx and upper respiratory system which further contributes to the breathing probs. If you can learn how to relax those muscles then you can make breathing easier.
Secondly, long term inhaled steroids can lead to the muscles in the larynx getting less elastic which can mean that the vocal chords cause an obstruction in the airway.
It is relatively easily treated, using relaxation and exercises specifically targeted at the vocal chords.
It can also mimic asthma in patients who don't have asthma, which can lead to a false diagnosis, and treatment which is actually making the problem worse.
Hope this helps a bit
x x x
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Old 12-02-2004, 02:14 PM   #8
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Winwahoo HB User
Re: Anxiety meds for asthma?

Very interesting.....

I am a radio broadcaster who, 3 years ago, was diagnosed with "adult asthma". (I'm 44) Long-story-short, I have experienced this ODYSSEY as it relates to me NOT being able to speak properly. (or breathe!) I cannot take Advair or Flovent because they rob me of the lower registers in my voice. Since I take no maintenance drugs, I, of course, have trouble breathing because of asthma which, in turn, makes it difficult to speak. (tough to get through a :60 commercial, I can tell you!) I've been to ENT's, who have prescribed (twice) "voice-therapy". Really, no help. Sometimes it feels as though steel bands are wrapped around my vocal chords. I assume it's because I'm staining to speak.

I then had sleep apnea tests to determine if my acid reflux (I take Prevacid) contributes to my asthma (or is it asthma contributing to my apnea?) I'm told they're all connected....Anyway, I have it, so I sleep with C-Pap machine, which, of course, dries out my voice in the morning, creating yet another obstacle. I also had allegy testing done (first time in my life) and it turns out that I'm allergic to my cat (my wife will NEVER part with her) and my dog. We've removed all the carpet from our house, placed air purifiers in both the bedroom and family room, and vacuum constantly.

I'm distraught...I struggle to do my job (as well as satisfy my list of freelance voice-clients) Reading these boards and others, I've tried everything from pumping up my intake of Vitamin C to contemplating doing food allergy testing to losing a dramatic amount of weight. I don't think I've ever been more frustrated. I miss the "effortless-ness" of speaking; hence, I miss the joy of doing what I love to do. Everyday is a struggle to speak without the tightening "bands" of tension.

Any suggestions?

Thanks...

Matthew




Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebanana
Hi
If you find anxiety makes the asthma worse it may be worth trying to get a referal to a speech pathologist to see if you have something like vocal chord dysfunction, which can contribute to asthma symptoms and make attacks worse. It is something which can be treated by doing excersises and training yourself not to do it, although it is not a voluntary concious thing. It can actually mimic asthma and you may find that it makes a real difference to you asthma symptoms, it can be severe enough to require a tracheostomy!
I get really bad depression esp with the pred and take deptran (i think thats how it's spelt) to minimise symptoms, doesn't work though. Maybe some kind of counselling or therapy would be beneficial. Please don't feel that I don't understand. I am a Brittle Asthmatic and have bad attacks once a week, and was recently in intensive care after an attack. I know how scarey they can be and I do suffer from the VCD I mentioned earlier. When they first suggested it I thought they were trying to tell me that I didn't have asthma and that it was all in my head. But that isn't it at all, I'm starting treatment next week, so keep your fingers crossed for me!
Take care and I hope you feel better soon.x x x

 
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