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  • Newbie, Chronic Asthmatic, Addicted to Albuterol

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    Old 11-29-2005, 09:26 PM   #1
    wheezer21
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    Post Newbie, Chronic Asthmatic, Addicted to Albuterol

    Hello everyone, I am new to this board and find it very interesting, I am always looking for advice and suggestions for my asthma problems.
    I was born with Asthma and was on Alupent as a kid, usually going to the ER twice a year is a normal event for me. I have tried all the meds I can think of, Singular, Advair, Albuterol, Prednisone, Asthmacort, I have a nebulizer in my home and use it often. I am overweight by about 100 lbs and I am working on it slowly, but as you all know it is tough with breathing problems.
    I don't have health insurance so I have to pay cash for my prescriptions, I have friends that let me use there Albuterol inhaler prescriptions and I pay cash for them, I use about 4 inhalers per month weather I am sick or not. I hoard Prednisone in my medicine cabinet incase of an attack as well as neb treatments. The last few years my asthma has gotten a little better, my bosses brother is a doctor so he will see me when I am chronically sick and give me any samples avaiable, The last few times I had an eposode I requested the doctor give me Zithromax incase I just had an infection and this seemed to cure my problem. 2 weeks ago was my last attack, I started with 100mg of Prednisone and tapered off 10mg per day until better along with the zithromax, now I am sick again. I have a very stressful job and I am very dedicated to it, I sometimes think this could contribute to my Asthma flare up's, I thought about asking for Valium or something but dont want to use addicting drugs or sound like a drug addict, I also think using my inhaler is all in my head, when I am out of breath I take a puff, this may happen 20 times a day, I can't go anywhere without it in my pocket. Right now I am back on the Prednisone, 50mg yesterday, 40mg today, 4-5 nebs per day and my inhaler. I am also very allergic to certain things so I try to stay away from natural herbs and such. I am searching for an air purifier right now. I find it sad that it is so hard for someone like my self to find medications to control my asthma without a prescription, I think I should be able to get these sorts of things on eBay or something. I have 27 years experience dealing with this disease and can usually tell doctors exactly what I need. Anyway sorry for the long post and sob story, but any help or suggestions would help greatly.
    Yours truly,
    Weezer21

     
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    Old 11-30-2005, 05:02 PM   #2
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    Re: Newbie, Chronic Asthmatic, Addicted to Albuterol

    1. At four canisters of Albuterol a month, there is no way humanly possible you are not exceeding the recommended daily dosage. You are putting yourself at risk for long-term cardiac side effects, perhaps resulting in death.

    2. There is no such thing as a physical addiction to albuterol. Four nebs a day OR eight puffs a day is the recommended maximum. Exceeding this outside of a supervised (emergency room) environment is not recommended under any circumstances.

    3. Hoarding prednisone and then starting yourself on obscenely high doses against medical advice is not going to improve your situation any. It's probably part of the reason why you're so overweight. Prednisone is a last-ditch emergency measure, not something that should be used chronically for control. A steroid inhaler is something that you should look into for control.

    4. Examine your environment and see if you can make any environmental changes that would decrease the allergen load and your symptoms. Look at long-term therapy with anti-histamines, if you have a series of known environmental allergies.

    5. Valium is not something that should be used to control asthma. It's a drug with the potential for abuse, and with your history of not following doctor's recommendations when it comes to dosing with medications, I would agree with you that it's a very, very, very bad idea for you to start on something that *does* have the potential for physical addiction.

     
    Old 11-30-2005, 08:22 PM   #3
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    Re: Newbie, Chronic Asthmatic, Addicted to Albuterol

    I so agree with WRIN. I think your weight problem is adding to your breathing difficulties as it is very hard to get enough oxygen to the body when the body is large.
    PLEASE lose some weight, get away from so much Albuterol and try to stabilize yourself without as many meds as possible. The albuterol cannot help if the wheezing is weight induced.

     
    Old 12-04-2005, 11:22 PM   #4
    wheezer21
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    Smile Re: Newbie, Chronic Asthmatic, Addicted to Albuterol

    Hey guys, Thanks for all the advice, concerns and feedback. I am going to do as Wrin suggested, but first finish off my last dose of Prednisone, I really only use it 2-3 times per year, but I "feel" better to have it in the cabinet just in case.
    I have joined Lifetime Fitness, which is 24 hours so that should help with my funny schedule.
    I have an appointment to have Culligan install an air purification system in my house this week, the one with the UltraViolet and Ozone bulbs, I have heard that this works wonders for allergies and such and I will be sure to let you guys know.
    On the same note I am also having them install a reverse osmosis drinking water since my tap water tastes gross, I believe I will drink more water before and after meals.
    Next step is to rearch this book that Linda36 reccomends. I really appreciate the input from everyone and I am going to work hard on this. I really don't remember ever using my inhaler as much as I am now and I have never been this heavy. This will be the hardes habit to break since it is so easy to reach for it when I become out of breath, but so hard to leave it places incase I really need it.
    Take care everyone,
    Wheezer21

     
    Old 12-05-2005, 08:56 PM   #5
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    Re: Newbie, Chronic Asthmatic, Addicted to Albuterol

    Follow some of the recommendations to reduce allergen loads in your home, first. An air purifier is a great second-line measure, however if the allergen load in your home is very high, an air purifier will not be able to do as good a job.

    A start is some allergen-proof pillows with dust-mite proof covers, and a mattress cover to reduce dust-mite transmission from your mattress. Make sure to vacuum or sweep your bedroom at least once a week, and launder all bedding and curtains in hot water at least once a week as well.

    Try and keep pets out of the bedroom, if you can.

    Dust mites thrive in moist environments, so try turning down the humidity in your home using whichever method is appropriate. Ensure your furnace filter is in good condition, your ventilation system is clean, and your carpets cleaned.

     
    Old 12-09-2005, 02:35 PM   #6
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    look into free medication programs

    OP, I believe by law all the major pharmaceutical companies are required to offer free name-brand drugs to uninsured people (I'm sure there are probably income restrictions). One guy on this board said he signed up for free Advair pretty easily. Do some research, ask your doctor, etc., but I think you need to get on advair or some such corticosteroid and get off the albuterol. The albuterol is more like a bandaid and doesn't help the inflammation in your lungs.

     
    Old 12-10-2005, 07:43 AM   #7
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    Re: Newbie, Chronic Asthmatic, Addicted to Albuterol

    Hi, I was born with Asthma too and used my Albuterol inhaler 'as needed'; probably more than 8 times a day. I was having a hard time getting 2 inhalers per month and have been put on many different ones intended to reduce my reliance on albuterol. While chatting with my PM doctor (I take morphine for my bone and joint disease), I found out that her friend is an Asthma researcher. The friend is also supposed be be writing a paper on the addictive qualities of albuterol inhalers, so maybe there is some merit to your thought. I was supposed to contact her to share my thoughts, but never did.

    I can't tolerate Prednisone, so I usually take Dexthamesasone (Decadron is the generic). I had a severe attack in late 1995 wich ended with me having been on Decadron for months, and I gained over 30 pounds. Last year I had pneumonia and while I did get Decadron for the entire week I was in the hospital (3 days in the ICU and 4 in a regular room), I quickly tapered myself off when I got out. I've also lost most of the extra weight, but rather unhealthily - a loss of appetite side effect from Actonel and Fosamax (I have osteoperosis).

    Luckily, Advair has been a lifesaver. When I was given a sample to 'try out', I decided to give it a serious try and now, I take a single puff every day. It has also dropped my reliance on Albuterol down to almost once a day. Some days I even skip it and I only seem to need it if I sneeze or laugh too hard. Before, doing either of those would almost give me an attack. I'm sorry it doesn't work for you though.

     
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