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  • Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

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    Old 06-29-2010, 08:13 PM   #1
    blahmoo
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    Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    Hi,

    My apologies in advance for the long post, but I really need some help.
    I sought out this board because I'm at my wits end with Advair side effects.

    I'm 39 and have had asthma since I was a toddler. I've taken Marax (remember that?), was switched to theophylline in my teens/20s, was switched to Azmacort in my early 30s, and then was switched to Advair several years ago.

    I did fine on all of these drugs (asthma-wise) and was switched primarily bec my physicians thought I should try the latest and greatest.

    After a couple months on Advair, I noticed my voice was raspier and I couldn't talk for long periods of time without starting to lose it. I teach and also work as a clinician--so talking is a big part of my jobs.

    I don't have a yeast infection, I've been scoped (no tumors), heck...I've even been to voice therapy! However, my voice just gets worse and worse. Honestly (and I've had this confirmed by strangers), I sound like I'm being strangled.

    I'm sick of sounding like this and sick of having strangers tell me to "feel better soon" or ask me "What is wrong with your voice?"

    I have an appt with my dr next week to switch meds. I KNOW this is due to the Advair (even though my docs don't seem to believe me).

    I was thinking of going back to Azmacort since I don't recall having these issues when I was taking it, but found it has been discontinued.

    I cannot go off asthma meds entirely and (just being honest) am not wanting to try natural alternatives.

    Can anyone give me any information about other asthma medications that have/are working for you that did not cause these voice issues?

    If you are still reading, I thank you!!

    --blahmoo

    Last edited by blahmoo; 06-29-2010 at 08:18 PM. Reason: remove real name

     
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    Old 06-29-2010, 09:18 PM   #2
    janewhite1
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    Re: Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    I'm currently on Advair, and thinking of switching due to hoarseness, sleep problems and nonstop acid reflux like I've never had before. (I think the last two are due to the salmeterol, my body hates bronchiodilators and stimulants in general.) I'm currently on vacation, but I have to get my full voice back before I go back to work, the job requires all my range and volume

    I have heard that the dry powder inhalers are more likely to cause hoarseness because the powder can settle on the vocal cords. I'm going to ask the doctor for a regular HFA inhaler which is a steroid alone (no salmeterol.)

    It is possible that acid is playing a role in my throat problems, and maybe yours too. Do you get a nasty taste in your mouth sometimes? It could be a sign stomach acid is rising up into your throat.

     
    Old 06-30-2010, 04:50 AM   #3
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    Re: Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    I've been on Flovent for about 14 years and have had no problems with it. Unless you just need the dialator with the steroid, I'd switch. And the docs like the disk styles because people have an easier time using them. The inhalers take some learning whereas the disks don't. After all these years, you should be able to use one properly.

     
    Old 06-30-2010, 10:05 AM   #4
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    Re: Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    What kind of "learning" do the inhalers require? It's no harder to use than the rescue inhaler, right?

     
    Old 06-30-2010, 11:52 AM   #5
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    Re: Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    The disk style you actually put between your lips. The inhaler style you hold out in front of your mouth. Sometimes people don't aim well and don't get enough meds with the inhaler. Not all docs provide a chamber for first timers to use...

     
    Old 06-30-2010, 02:55 PM   #6
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    Re: Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    Thanks for the responses

    It is not reflux. It is not because I'm using the inhaler improperly (and I've used both the diskus and the HFA Advair preps).

    It really is the Advair and I want off of it.

    Since the Azmacort did not have this effect on me, I was hoping there is another med that would work for the asthma but not cause the voice issues.

    I'm going to try to stay away from both active ingredients in Advair.

    So, if you take something other than Advair and it works well for you without hoarseness...Please let me know!

    Thanks!

    Last edited by blahmoo; 06-30-2010 at 02:55 PM. Reason: typo

     
    Old 06-30-2010, 03:06 PM   #7
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    Re: Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    Like I said, I have read that dry powder inhalers (discus type) are more likely to have this side effect, which is why I want to switch to a steroid in a regular canister type inhaler.

    If I make the switch before you, I'll let you know what I get switched to and how it goes.

    I didn't think it was because you were inhaling it wrong, I don't think it's possible to get something into your lungs without going past your vocal cords!

     
    Old 06-30-2010, 03:11 PM   #8
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    Re: Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    Hi Jane,

    Actually, I did switch from the disk to a "regular" inhaler a year ago (trying to solve this problem). The Advair HFA is in the rescue-style inhaler.

    So I have been trying that for a year and no luck. No improvement. *sigh*

    It may work for you, though. I guess these side effects can be fairly individual. I just don't know what else I can try with this Advair stuff that I haven't already tried. Poo.

    Sad thing is, it seems to work pretty well for my asthma, and i really hate changing meds...but I'm at the end of my raspy-voice rope.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by janewhite1 View Post
    Like I said, I have read that dry powder inhalers (discus type) are more likely to have this side effect, which is why I want to switch to a steroid in a regular canister type inhaler.

    If I make the switch before you, I'll let you know what I get switched to and how it goes.

    I didn't think it was because you were inhaling it wrong, I don't think it's possible to get something into your lungs without going past your vocal cords!

     
    Old 07-07-2010, 08:50 AM   #9
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    Re: Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    My doc dropped my Advair due to the recent health warnings and put me on Spiriva (tiotropium bromide - not a steroid).

    Now, I only have to use a rescue inhaler maybe twice a month where on the advair I was using it daily, so there is an improvement.

    Oh, and no more hoarseness!

     
    Old 07-07-2010, 01:40 PM   #10
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    Re: Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    Hi again,

    I just saw my doc and she is going to try me on the inhaler-version of the steroid-only ingredient in Advair.

    So w/out the salmeterol (sp?).

    If that doesn't work--then maybe I'll ask her about the stuff you are on, Bien.

    I'm not sure this is going to work for my voice, but she says it has worked for other patients of hers and it is worth a try.

     
    Old 08-02-2010, 06:19 AM   #11
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    Re: Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    Hi, just thought I'd update you. I (finally) got switched to Asmanex, which is a steroid only, and I'm already kicking myself for putting up with Advair for 3 months! No hoarseness, stomach is improving, and thus far asthma control is just as good.

     
    Old 08-02-2010, 06:35 AM   #12
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    Re: Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    Good deal!

     
    Old 08-02-2010, 02:44 PM   #13
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    Re: Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by janewhite1 View Post
    Hi, just thought I'd update you. I (finally) got switched to Asmanex, which is a steroid only, and I'm already kicking myself for putting up with Advair for 3 months! No hoarseness, stomach is improving, and thus far asthma control is just as good.
    I may need to ask for that. I tried a decreased dose of the Flovent (which is the steroid-only component of Advair) and it led to increased use of the rescue inhaler. So my dose got upped and the hoarseness is back. It is still less than I was taking with the Advair, but apparently still enough to cause the hoarseness.

    I'm going to ask my Dr. about Asmanex. Thank you for the update.

     
    Old 08-02-2010, 10:00 PM   #14
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    Re: Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    If that doesn't help, you might do better on an oral med like Singulair. Or a low dose steroid and Singular, or something else.

     
    Old 08-03-2010, 07:57 PM   #15
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    Re: Need advice re: asthma meds other than Advair (sick of hoarseness)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by janewhite1 View Post
    If that doesn't help, you might do better on an oral med like Singulair. Or a low dose steroid and Singular, or something else.
    Thanks for the advice. I just hate trying new meds. I keep thinking "your asthma seems controlled so just leave well enough alone"...but then I make a phone call and someone asks me if I'm sick or if I'm ok (bec it sounds like I'm crying). arggh.

    It just sucks my confidence away from me when I open my mouth and a squeak comes out.

    Anyway, I'll update when I get a chance to see my doc and check out plan C.
    Thanks!

     
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