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Old 10-10-2007, 08:10 AM   #1
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Exclamation Why isn't my albuterol working?

I went to family medicine a couple weeks ago because I was short of breath. My doctor told me it 'sounds like' I might have asthma and prescribed me an albuterol inhaler and told me to use it for a couple weeks and see what it does for me. It worked beautifully up until a couple days ago; I was puffing on that inhaler a lot more than I was told to because I began to get that 'someone-sitting-on-my-chest' feeling, despite taking the prescribed dose. I ended up in the emergency room yesterday because I was having a very hard time catching my breath. I was told my lungs sounded healthy as did my heart. I specifically told the doctors who examined me that my albuterol was no longer helping me.

And what'd they do? Send me home with an albuterol inhaler and told me to use it for a week. I realize as ER docs and not specialists, they couldn't prescribe me anything more, but that just irked me.

I know using albuterol four times a day isn't exactly a good thing and I'm going to see if I can make an appointment with a pulmonologist soon. But why would it suddenly stop working? I thought maybe it was because the inhaler was getting close to being empty, but I was still a little short of breath even after I puffed on the brand-new inhaler I got in the ER. Have I developed some kind of immunity to albuterol or something?

I've heard of some other kind of inhaler called Flovent, which my friend uses for his asthma along with albuterol. Why could I not receive this as opposed to an inhaler I specifically told doctors was no longer having an effect on me?

 
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:09 AM   #2
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Re: Why isn't my albuterol working?

First of all, albuterol is a rescue inhaler. Flovent is a daily preventer med. They have two entirely different functions. A daily preventer is to keep asthma under control so that the albuterol is rarely, if ever, needed for an attack. Albuterol is also used by asthmatics who do cardio...we take two puffs 20 minutes before cardio to prevent an attack during exercise. If in fact you have asthma, then the rescue inhaler is not working because you are not on a daily preventer and the asthma has reach a level that the albuterol can no longer handle. If you don't have asthma, then the albuterol is not working because it isn't what is needed.

Bottom line, get to a pulmonologist.

 
Old 10-10-2007, 03:23 PM   #3
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Re: Why isn't my albuterol working?

I have to assume I do have asthma because, if it wasn't, then why would it have responded to the albuterol? I've researched my symptoms and asked more than one doctor about them and, while I don't have an official diagnosis, all their first suggestions of the cause of ailment is asthma.

I'll hopefully be making that appointment very soon, though. And thanks for hte advice/reply, Titchou.

 
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