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View Full Version : Another one on Prednisone! Mainly Asthma/breathing related



~CJ~
01-27-2012, 06:48 AM
I have read through the last pages of relevant threads. I can see it's a love/hate relationship with this wonderful/awful drug! Without it though, what is life like? Is there really no alternative...somewhere inbetween perhaps? maybe something that makes life more manageable but not great? So mine is mainly prescribed for asthma BUT when i'm on it everything is smooth sailing! My high BP, tachycardia, everything basically seems more stable. I was reading about the heart issues...but when on it I seem to have less issues with palpitations etc (ECG recorded as only sinus tachycardia so nothing major)

Honestly though, putting on nearly 20kgs last year thanks to a massively increased appetite...I just can't handle! I tried to deal with it but I can't. How vain...but I have been sitting on the idea for months now and I simply can't! I have never had an appetite before so i'm not used to having to deal with hunger. I did try, and failed. Previous years have seen an increased use of the drug... generally prescribed during an asthma attack so 50mg first day then 25mg/day for a week or two at a time, once or twice per month, half of the year. Adds up to a massive amount in my eyes. It started as a course or two per year, then add a couple more...then last year it was most months.

The excess weight causes so many mental and physical complications that i'm at a point where I just don't want to go back to it. That's possibly an understatement...I saw the hospital physician last week and discussed the fact I intend to REFUSE any further use of the drug. He was at a loss, and here I am. He doesn't understand the awful effects! I'm a single mother, I HAVE to work to support my children, I have to be able to function...and as a normal person, not an irrational hormonal food obsessed overweight one!

I'm at a point where I need to think so carefully about not only this year but the future.... last year saw many close calls with admittances to hospitals, struggling with so many symptoms but primarily severe (intermittent) asthma. Not sure what causes it but it flares, and quite dramatically despite a very strong preventative protocol.

I have options. 1. Refuse ANY steroid use. This i'm not sure how would be managed, as last year I did require adrenalin shots and prolonged prednisone courses. Ideally i'm thinking with asthma attacks it would mean more oxygen/ventolin nebs to stabilise, and would have to be done at a hospital as my dr doesnt have oxygen. As i'm unable to talk at all when bad I assume I will have to have my wishes pre-recorded with the hospital, somehow. 2. Accept only adrenalin in an emergency then stabalise after with ventonlin (I have a nebuliser at home to continue with, not just inhalers). This might work, my dr has done in the past but I did follow through with prednisone. At least this can be done through GP and not hospital. I have a serious issue with hospitals as I feel they are for emergencies only and I can't handle going there. 3. Just go with Dr orders which are frequent steroid courses...equals increase in weight, decrease in ability to function as rational human, who knows what else!

I read this back and it seems stupid to be tossing up options with asthma, but I CAN manage a lot at home. TBH I do sometimes collapse and regularly I cant talk as it's so hard to breathe... I keep to myself as others can't cope seeing me like that. This incl the Dr who just wants to call an ambulance, which is why I manage at home and dont contact anyone. They dont understand I have managed this for 30yrs and I know my asthma (as much as one can) and it's slow progressing, I feel it can be managed withOUT steroids. It will mean more time off work as I would be at home on my two hourly nebs....but that's something i'm prepared to deal with to stay OFF prednisone.

Please say there are some of you who understand this and where i'm coming from. How much of a struggle it is to cope. If there are any options, i'm all ears. I'm on 2x 400 twice daily of Symbicort + additional 3 doses daily when unwell. I'm not sure what we can add to the regime to make more effective...I sometimes think asking online gets a better response than from my Dr!! At least it's something to discuss with him!! To add though, Salbutamol even in small doses has quite drastic effects on me...sends me tachy to the point of vomiting etc... so not great to use unless required (esp as i'm already being treated for the sinus tachy so abnormally high)

Ugh, this just seems like such a mess! I am no longer seeing the hospital physician, so just going back to my local GP (Dr) so just the one opinion... and I feel like I need a solid plan for this coming year (esp winter) so I feel less stressed about things :( particularly in emergency situations. It would be fine if it was a one off...obviously you just do whatever the Dr wants, but this is my life and not a one off, and I feel like I deserve the opportunity to make decisions for myself...after all, it's ME who has to live with the consequences.

chinadoll
01-27-2012, 08:18 AM
Good morning!

I feel your pain, I really do. I too have asthma, secondary to Lupus, and I have struggled with it for years. The first thing I noticed about your post is that you say you are managing your condition at home. If you are having frequent attacks so bad that you are unable to speak or breathe, your asthma is NOT managed or under control and your doc really needs to work with you on treating the underlying cause (in my case it is chronic autoimmune inflammation unrelated to allergies).

I know that prednisone is a drug that most of us love to hate because it works to fight inflammation but it has those nasty side effects. Because I have been on massive doses in the past, both orally and via IV infusion, I can no longer take it due to its serious side effects, including avascular necrosis.

So to manage my asthma, my doctor has prescribed daily doses of Singulair tabs and an Advair inhaler, along with a rescue inhaler as needed. I also have a home nebulizer and don't go ANYWHERE without it, especially during a Lupus flare when my lung problems seem to get worse. I have far fewer attacks though since I started the Singulair/Advair regimen. Of course we are all individuals and we each respond differently to meds. But you might check with your doctor about trying something different. Maybe the Symbicort just isn't working anymore?

I'm sure you probably already know this since you have had this for so long, but I have to ask...are you checking your peak flow daily? That is very important as well. I don't know if you have done this or have one that is already marked, but I marked mine with green, yellow and red areas where the numbers are. That way you are alerted when you fall into the yellow zone and can stop a serious attack from occurring. Anyway, please keep us posted on how you are doing!