Nate, I was alarmed when I read your post. Albuterol is meant to be a rescue inhaler only. When I was taking it a lot before I got my long term inhaler I was taking 2 puffs X 4 times a day, or 2 puffs every 4-6 hours apart. I saw a pulmonoligist who prescribed symbicort for me as my long term inhaler. I now only use albuterol on a rare occasion such as if there is a lot of mold in the air. I maybe use it once or twice a month at the most as the symbicort keeps me breathiing freely. You say you have advair and you only take it once at night. Is your dr. a pulmonologist? If not you really need to see a pulmonologist and have all the lung function tests. You might get switched to a better long term inhaler. If you are a runner and you are taking so much albuterol you could easily have a heart attack. Albuterol is not good for your heart if over used which it sounds like you are doing. Your PCP will not know enough about breathing problems to properly diagnose you and prescribe the correct meds. And if your PCP is telling you to use so much albuterol I would run as fast as I could and get a new dr. But your best bet it to see a lung specialist who can properly diagnose your condition and tell you what you should be doing. Not meaning to upset you but I think you need some really good advice on how to treat your problem. Post again so we know what you are doing and if you have been helped. And by the way, I have bad asthma and that is why I know about these meds. I see my pulmonologist every 6 months.
P.S. Nate, you mentioned a medium. I assume you are tallking about a spacer which delivers the med to your lung instead of most of it going in your mouth. It is very important to use a spacer with your inhaler in order to get the med into your lungs directly. You also need to rinse your mouth out after using an inhaler. If you are having such breathing problems you really do need a long term inhaler. When I got my symbicort I started to breathe freely from the first day. Before that I used my pro air and couldn't wait for the four hours to be up so I could use it again. So I hope you will see a lung specialist and if you get a different inhaler you need a spacer and the dr or pharmacist will show you how to use it. It is very easy and will give you the correct dosage without you haveing to take extra puffs. Please take care.
Post Edited (walthenf) : 4/29/2009 4:57:56 PM (GMT-6)
Nate, I will say this again. If it is input on the albuterol you are looking for the best advice you can get is from a lung specialist. You can read all kinds of things on the internet. That doesn't mean what you read is correct. Only a qualified dr. can give you the answers you are looking for. And yes, I know the pictures from the pro air show using the inhaler itself, you will be surprised at what good a spacer will do to get the med directly into your lungs. I will repeat, albuterol is for rescue, not long term. If you don't have a reliable dr. you can run this by, then go to your pharmacy and ask the pharmacist about the number of puffs of albuterol that is safe to take in one day. Also, if you read the dosage instructions that come with your pro air it will tell you no more than 2 puffs, 4 times a day. I would rather you pursue this and be safe than sorry. Others out there who have asthma, how about giving your input on this situation? I feel qualified in giving you this info as I have been seen by 2 pulmonologists and told exactly what I have told you. Also, I have landed in the ER from the amount of albuterol I had taken which then led me to having to see a cardiologist. All to the tune of over $10,000.
Nate, I keep rereading your post and I guess I am having trouble understanding why you say you wonder where I am coming from. You mentioned that you know the dangers of too much albuterol, that it can cause death. You also mention that you are taking more puffs that your dr. did not prescribe and he is "experimenting" with your dosage. This is not a med where there should be experimentation unless done so by a specialist. You say you have no symptoms yet about what you have read. But could this eventually catch up with you? You posted questions but you do not seem to want to look into any advice that was given. I wish that others on this forum with asthma would reply to you. Let me give you an example of what you are doing: If a person takes one pain pill and it works well then why not take two - that should work even better. The drs. that treat me are specialists from a very large teaching hospital - I live in the 2nd largest city in the US so I trust these drs. What I see you doing is self medicating, worrying or wondering, asking questions and then not hearing what you want to hear. I am trying to give you the benefit as someone who has had bad asthma all my life. That is where I am coming from.
Nate, I guess I have lead you to misunderstand me. I do realize that the pro air is used for exercise induced asthma and I do understand why you are using it and that is fine. If it works for you then you should use it. My concern is only with the amount you use. If you could go back to your information leaflet and check out the dosage instructions it clearly says 2 puffs every 4-6 hours. If I am correct you are actually using from 8-10 puffs at a time. And that is what I believe is dangerous. However, I do not actually know what a dr. would prescribe for a runner. One thing I can say is that if you were to use a spacer you would definitely get more of the med in your lungs and then it would be far more effective and maybe you wouldn't need as many puffs. A spacer is truly easy to use. And after I started to use mine I got over the hoarseness that I had in my voice as the med was no longer wallowing in my throat. Another tip that should help you which my dr. told me is after you take the first puff you should wait about 4-5 min before using more. The reason for this is that the first puff opens up the bronchial tubes and if you wait then your lungs are now more open and the other puffs will give you greater relief and even work better. I assume you only use the pro air when you are running, but I don't know if you run every day. I was hoping someone else would come on the forum and help you out too. I usually post on another forum where I get so many replies and so much help that I am surprised no one else has taken the time to give you some insight. I stll think if you have the time you could ask your pharmacist about dosing for exersize. Most pharmacists are very willing to give you information so that would be my suggestion if no one else here has any answers. I think part of the problem is that so many of us (me included) have other illnesses that are more serious so we tend to concentrate on those. I truly hope I have not offended you and I do wish you the best of luck with your running. I think it is great that you have a sport that gives you so much pleasure. Take care.
Post Edited (walthenf) : 5/1/2009 11:27:02 PM (GMT-6)
My experience with asthma and the ER are very similar to Smurfys. I passed out just as I got into the ER. I had to go to the ER twice for asthma and it is no fun. You say you don't have time to go to a pulmonologist. How much time do you think it takes? Is risking your life worth more than the morning is would take to see a pulmonologist? Dencha is right about you probably having inflamation in your lungs and that is why the pro air is not working for you and by everything you have said it sounds like it is barely working for you. A spacer can be bought at any pharamcy. My Walgreens always has them in stock. How long will it take to go to the pharmacy? You truly don't seem to understand how seriously you are risking your life. If running is that important to you get yourself help while you can. Otherwise the next race may be your last. I can assure you the specialist will be truly alarmed by what your are doing. And if you reach the point where you develop heart problems your running days as you know them will be over. I am curious where you are getting all this albuterol from. If you are taking as many puffs as you say, the inhaler, which has 200 puffs is not even lasting you a month. If a dr. is giving you a bunch of pro airs he needs to be reported to a medical board. Any pharmacy will not dispense more than 1 inhaler in a month.What you have to understand is that we post on other forums where we get a lot of help and comfort and understanding. When we see someone who is harming themselves we want to make things better for them. Please don't ignore this very serious problem. I feel better knowing that others are telling you the same as I have. Do you remember that famous runner Jim Fix? I'm sure you do - you know then that he died of a heart attack. I wish you the best and am hoping for the best for you.
Smurfy, I am glad to see you stating your position on this issue again. Everything you and all of us (4 to be exact)have posted is correct information. As you may have noticed over 180 have viewed this post. I think the reason others don't want to respond is they see someone who keeps coming up with excuses to continue what he is doing and challenging anyone who wants to help. I am giving up on trying to be of help here as I can see that nothing is going to change. You and I and I am sure others have been through serious illnesses and we know the importance above all else to get to the dr. I see you are in radiation therapy. I am at this point a 3 yr cancer survivor and I ran the gamut of all the treatments. At one time I had 3 oncologists I was working with, down now to 2. Small town or not there is a dr. available here even if it means going to campus health. So I think all has been said that can be done and hope this will get resolved in the best way.
Post Edited (walthenf) : 5/3/2009 12:28:48 PM (GMT-6)