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how long for medicine to work?

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Old 04-17-2003, 11:55 PM   #1
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Question how long for medicine to work?

I'm new here and would really like other's opinions on this. I'm 49, no known allergies ever. I was recently diagnosed with asthma after I started having trouble breathing with chest tightness. I was given prednisone for 5 days and Flovent. Neither helped. Was then switched to Advair 500/100. Still didn't help. Had a breathing test which showed nothing wrong except slight reduction on inhaling. Six weeks after onset of 'asthma', my doctor started me on zanax to get my anxiety and panic under control. Three days after starting the zanax, my breathing started to get better. My doctor thought that it was the anxiety triggering the asthma, and that once the anxiety was under control, the breathing troubles would stop.

If indeed it was asthma, would not the prednisone have helped? I mean, doesn't prednisone always help? Also, I tried using a peak flow meter, and it always says I'm breathing fine even when I'm not. The numbers never change on it. Why is that? If I'm indeed having trouble breathing, wouldn't it show on the meter? Actually, I was under the impression that a meter was suppose to tell you about a problem even before you feel it. Mine says I'm fine.

I suppose I'm asking as I'm not at all sure it's asthma, only because nothing seemed to work for me. I've had other doctors tell me that prednisone should have helped at the beginning, and also that six weeks was more than long enough for the Advair to start working. Is that correct?

Thanks so much.

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Old 04-18-2003, 03:15 AM   #2
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Depends on why the asthma is bad. The inhaling thing makes me especially think you could have a vocal chord thing going on, that gets worse with anxiety.

Prednisone also doesn't help if the reason your asthma is bad is because of spasm. Prednisone only treats inflammation. But the serevent should have helped then, in that case. So it's iffy.

I think you're very lucky you found out something that works -- especially the xanax, because it's so fast-acting and you don't have to take it all the time like Paxil.

Anxiety can trigger problems with breathing (mostly a sensation of breathlessness that can't be proven to be physiological with testing, but feels very physiological to the patient) that are not rooted at all in asthma. They're mostly in your head, in these cases. The more severe the anxiety gets, the more likely it will manifest itself in a physical manner. Some people grind their teeth. Some people get paradoxical vocal chord movement or idiopathic bronchospasm. Takes all types to make a world, I geuss.

Six weeks IS more than long enough for advair to start working. The Serevent (the /100 part of the advair) takes 15 minutes to start working. I'm dead serious. Flovent takes ... 2 weeks.

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