As a result of a bout of bronchitis, I got a temporary case of asthma and was prescribed a salbutamol (more short acting than the related medications listed above) inhaler to open up my lungs.
It raised my eyebrows a bit to see on the medication package insert that studies show more fatal asthma events occur with salbutamol inhalers than without them. Whether this is because the worse off patients get inhalers more often than those with mild cases, I wouldn’t know.
Also maybe you or some other doctor in the house can answer a question about salbutamol inhalers. For many days after taking a puff of one of these inhalers, when I would cough up phlegm I would get a markedly putrid odor in my nose. Kind of like battery acid, kind of like dead insects or honey but powerful enough to make me gag. The odor would die down after about a week. The puff from the inhaler itself was quite odorless and flavorless to me. It’s like some kind of junk was getting formed from the medication and/or its vehicle in my lung, and it was not getting readily cleared back out. I wonder what the odorous substance was.
I had asthma— pretty severe— as a kid, and as most do, grew out of it. It seems to be coming back now; I’m in my early 50’s.
The meds I took as a kid are no longer prescribed— they involved some amphetamine combined, I think with phenobarbital, supposedly to counter the effects of the former. One of the drugs was called Tedral and it kept me in a constant semi-dazed state.
I guess it was 12 or so years ago that I was taking anatomy and physiology. The Doc teaching the course remarked that asthma was associated with the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system; that stimulating the sympathetic system caused the airways to open. That was why speed was used to medicate it, and why kids with asthma should be encouraged to participate in sports. That squared with my own experience. (By the way, I think I’m getting this right, the sympathetic pathways are the ones that get you “up,’ parasympathetic responses get you ‘down.’ Physically, I mean. I think. The sympathetic response, paradoxically, doesn’t make you very sympathetic.)
Some years later I’m talking to my cousin’s wife. Both are real doctors, and we’re talking about asthma. Her kids had it. I recounted the foregoing theory and she told me that the new drugs did none of those things, that the new approach is to treat the condition as an inflammation. “It’s much better now, besides, that other stuff had speed in it, it’d make you crazy.” She’s very frank.
And maybe so. Crazy enough to venture a reply on something I know just enough about to make a fool of myself.
Let me know me know how well I’ve succeeded. I am curious and would like to compare notes.
I’m currently using an albuterol inhaler (an emergency medication) and Advair(for maintenance of symptoms). After a recent dust storm, my symptoms quickly got out of control. Without the Advair, I would have been in the hospital for a long term stay due to bronchial inflammation.
I use Advair for COPD. It works but the side effects include muscle and bone pain which can be really unpleasant. That is why I’m awake right now, hurts too bad to sleep.
I have had asthma forever. Treated as a child/teen...then thought I had ‘outgrown it.’ Every chest cold though, for me, hung on for months with coughing and wheezing (but I was young and could get over it). After having a few babies my symptoms worsened in my 30s (pneumonia, pleurisy) and was just given a rescue inhaler. I am now in my 40s and have ‘leveled’ off. I take Allegra (daily of allergies); Singulair (nightly for the asthma); and Nasacort (rx nasal spray); still also have a rescue inhaler (Proventil). This mix works...except...
When I go for my check up, more time is spent discussing the possible side effects of the Singulair (dark thoughts? depression? thoughts of suicide?) than talking about my actual asthma issues. The Singulair bottle comes with four ‘stickers’ worth of warnings. Fortunately, I have had no problems, but then I wonder...’what happens if I have to stop taking this?’