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Old 06-17-2009, 08:55 AM   #1
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Could This Be Asthma?

Hi everyone,

My GP recently started me on Flonase and Albuterol in addition to Allegra for my allergies.

I find that I have dry coughing spells upon awakening in the morning and at night when I go to bed. As a result, I use the Albuterol twice/day.

I'm wondering if this is safe or if there is another kind of treatment I should be investigating?

According to what my pharmacist told me, Albuterol is designed to be a rescue inhaler and isn't designed to be used every day unlike a steroid inhaler.

My GP will be calling me back today and I'm wondering if I should ask her about taking a steroid inhaler as well?

My asthma is triggered by pollen, dust, pet dander, mold, cigarette/cigar/pipe smoke, cold temperatures, exercise and scents/fragrances.

I haven't been officially diagnosed with asthma per se, but from what I've read, it appears that my symptoms sound alot like a mild case of allergy-induced asthma which I plan to ask my GP for clarification of when I talk to her sometime today.

I never thought about asking my GP if she thought I had asthma or not because I was primarily concerned with getting my dry coughing spells and allergies/congestion under control.

Any thoughts as to what kind of treatment I should be looking into at this point? Do I need to be on more than one inhaler or would a steroid inhaler be all I need in addition to Flonase and Allegra?

Before I close, please note that I do not know anything about asthma.

On the other hand, allergies are something I've dealt with for the longest time, but never received treatment for due to the fact that I always attributed my symptoms (I have year round allergies) to constant ear infections that I used to have from infancy until 4 years ago.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:17 AM   #2
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Re: Could This Be Asthma?

Hi everyone,

I just got off the phone with my GP. She said it would be fine if I continue to take Albuterol twice/day although she would like me to try and reduce it to once/day. She also asked that I wait 2 weeks to see if I can cut down on my useage and if I can't, she will switch me to a steroid inhaler. I also wanted to mention that when I use the Albuterol, it is during times when I am having active dry coughing spells when I wake up or lay down. If I can find something I can take to help get me through those periods of the day, I should be fine. I also have difficulty when exercising, but haven't mentioned this to my GP as of yet. I'm still trying to understand exactly what I am dealing with. Right now I'm waiting for her nurse to call me so I know exactly what my diagnosis is. I suspect that I have a mild case of allergy-induced asthma, but do not know for sure. Once I hear back from her within the hour, I will let you know what she tells me.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 06-17-2009, 11:24 AM   #3
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Re: Could This Be Asthma?

It certainly is sounding like asthma of some sort. I really do suggest you get evaluated for it. Even allergy induced asthma needs treatment. Generally speaking you are on a steroid inhaler daily, number of puffs determined by severity,etc. As for having problems when exercising, you would need to premedicate - that is, 1 to 2 puffs of albuterol 15 minutes or so before cardio. I have asthma and am a jogger. After tryaing different combinations, I now do 2 puffs - 60 seconds apart, about 15-20 minutes before jogging. Works well. But you really do need to see an allergist, asthma specialist or pulmonologist. You are having too many symptoms that aren't going away. I'm very surprised with all the allergies that you have that you have not been under the care of an allergist nor considered immunotherapy (injections/shots). You sound like a prime candidate.

 
Old 06-17-2009, 12:03 PM   #4
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Re: Could This Be Asthma?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
It certainly is sounding like asthma of some sort. I really do suggest you get evaluated for it. Even allergy induced asthma needs treatment. Generally speaking you are on a steroid inhaler daily, number of puffs determined by severity,etc. As for having problems when exercising, you would need to premedicate - that is, 1 to 2 puffs of albuterol 15 minutes or so before cardio. I have asthma and am a jogger. After tryaing different combinations, I now do 2 puffs - 60 seconds apart, about 15-20 minutes before jogging. Works well. But you really do need to see an allergist, asthma specialist or pulmonologist. You are having too many symptoms that aren't going away. I'm very surprised with all the allergies that you have that you have not been under the care of an allergist nor considered immunotherapy (injections/shots). You sound like a prime candidate.
Thank you for your reply.

The reason I've never seen an allergist before is because until this year, my allergies were kept well under control by my Fexofenadine (180mg). Once spring came, my allergies became more severe and my dry coughing spells became more pronounced. I've always had coughing spells for as long as I can remember, but always thought they were due to a cold or sinus issues or ear infections.

I do not want to have allergy shots because I experience severe panic attacks whenever I'm around needles. I start hyperventilating and can't breathe. I would prefer to use other means of treatment if possible.

If this consists of replacing my Albuterol for a steroid inhaler, I will do that.

I'm waiting for my GP's nurse to call me back so I know exactly what my diagnosis is. I'm guessing it's mild allergy-induced asthma as I've said before, but it could be asthma in general since I also have symptoms when exercising, I inhale, laugh, lay down or am in cold temperatures.

I'll keep you posted and when my GP's nurse calls me back I'll let you know what she has to say.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

Last edited by dreams in neon; 06-17-2009 at 12:08 PM.

 
Old 06-17-2009, 12:19 PM   #5
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Re: Could This Be Asthma?

I just got off the phone with my GP's nurse who really didn't sound as if it mattered one way or the other what my diagnosis is. I explained that I do not want to take something that is prescribed unless I know exactly what is being taken for and what is it supposed to address. Having allergy-induced asthma is different than having asthma as a whole and I think I have the right to know what my diagnosis is so that I can decide whether or not to see an allergist, an asthma specialist or pulmonologist. The way my GP's nurse explained to to me "We deal with the here and now and do not worry about what may or may not happen" (in reference to the possibility of my Albuterol not being able to be taken once/day). I'm *very* frustrated right now because my GP is telling me that there is no harm in taking Albuterol 2x/day yet people here (and on medical journals I've read on the Internet) say otherwise. I want to know once and for all if I'm causing any damage because I don't want to accidentally overdose on the Albuterol. I don't know anything about inhalers or asthma, so it would be just my luck for something to happen and I end up in the ER because I took too much medication. *sigh*
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
Old 06-17-2009, 01:14 PM   #6
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Re: Could This Be Asthma?

Well, you really need to get proper meds for your allergies and asthma - or whatever it is - whether you do the shots or not. You are having problems with your allergies so you should see an allergist. Seriously, your GP really can't do a lot for you. It isn't his area of expertise. Thus the lack of knowledge about the albuterol. Go see a proper doc.

 
Old 06-17-2009, 01:18 PM   #7
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Re: Could This Be Asthma?

Titchou,

I spoke to my GP who said I have a mild case of allergy-induced asthma. She prescribed a steroid inhaler which I am to take twice/day. If I need more medication, she recommended I take Albuterol for use as a rescue inhaler. I asked for her opinion as to whether or not I should see an allergist, but she does not think I need to given the fact that my asthma is mild. Given how well the Albuterol has worked for me up to this point, she feels that the steroid inhaler will do a good job of keeping my symptoms under control. She does not think I have asthma in general, but that the symptoms I do have are strictly because of allergies. I feel better knowing exactly what I am dealing with. I think this treatment plan will work well for me and I thank you as well as others on the other boards for your helpful advice.
__________________
Atypical Bipolar I Disorder with Rapid Cycling
Meds:
Depakote 1500mg
Prozac 40mg
Risperdal 1mg titrating to 6mg/day
Klonopin .5mg (2x/day)
Trazodone 100mg or 200mg PRN

 
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