Asthma and my experience with HCTZ (Hydrochlorothiazide)

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Wanzewurld
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/7/2005 11:48 PM (GMT -6)   
First time posting here:
   I've had adult onset asthma for about 15 years and it's been better some times than others but I've lived with it the best I can and have been using Albuterol as a rescue inhaler and Seruvent as a more permanent fix.  The Seruvent wasn't prescribed but I got it from a person who had an overabundance of it and he said it helped him but he was on a new treatment.  Anyway, (I'll try to keep the digressions to a minimum) I used it off and on over about a year and maybe it helped, maybe not:  My asthma seems to come and go although it's never left me completely since I first contracted it.  I've had a few episodes that I'd be relatively symptom-free for a few weeks and be somewhere without an inhaler and got into a few life-threatening episodes (Out in the middle of the woods once about 3 miles from my car... It took me a few hours of walking/crawling/resting to get back to my inhaler.  In the first place I hate using the Albuterol because it gives me severe "Jitters".
   about a year ago I went to the pulmonary doctor I've been using from the beginning and he did an evaluation and capped off the appointment with something like, "Well, maybe you don't have asthma... Maybe you've got something else."  If he'd been an appliance repairman I'd have taken him to court of just fell out and fought him.  It was like taking a car to a repair shop and having the transmission worked on every 6 months, getting a bill for $300 and then having him say, "Well, maybe it's not the transmission" for 15 years in a row.
   Here's where the HCTZ comes in:  Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic used primarily to treat high blood pressure and is one of the older "Fluid" pills with rare side-effects if used occasionally.  My wife had been prescribed HCTZ and they had later changed her to another blood pressure medication about a month before.  I noticed that my watch was getting tight on my wrist and I had problems getting a ring off so I thought I'd take a pill a day for 2 or 3 days and see if that helped or if I was just putting on weight.  I took 25 mg a day for 3 days and the watch and rings fit and everything seemed about normal.  I did notice that I didn't have any asthma symptoms but dismissed it as I'd had a few symptom-free days from time to time.  A couple of days later the asthma returned suddenly with a vengence and I recalled using the HCTZ and took a 25 mg pill.
   It was nothing short of dramatic!  The asthma attack went away in about 5 minutes and I stayed symptom-free for about another 2 days.  When the next attack came I took a half of a 25 mg pill and once again the symptoms went away for a couple of days.  The next time I tried a quarter of a pill but it didn't offer complete relief so I took another quarter pill and the symptoms went away.
   I started taking a half pill a day for about 6 weeks and went to see my family doctor for a routine physical and told him about my experience.  he said that I was borderline hypertensive so he saw no harm in taking the HCTZ and prescribed it for me with the statement that he would have to classify me as having high blood pressure on my medical records which could come back to haunt me sometimes in the future for insurance purposes but I'm not as concerned about that as I am relieved to have been asthma-symptom free for the past 5 months!
   Has anyone got any explanation as to what is going on?  I asked my family doctor who prescribed it and he said he didn't have a clue.  I hate going back to that pulmonary doctor because I've lost faith in him - Like severelymad     Maybe I've stumbled on something that will help someone else... I would certainly hope that is the case because I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to finally get the relief I have.  I'm basically one of the people who don't like taking medicine of any sort despite a long-ago history of drug abuse but I'll keep using the HCTZ as long as I can get it.  I take a half pill a day and some days I'll experience some "tightness" or the beginnings of an attack and take another half.
   I'd appreciate some input from someone.  I've researched as much as I can and can find no other instances similar to mine.
   One more thing:  I don't get night leg cramps like I used to but when I did get them I always kept a bottle of tonic (Quinine) water purchased from the local grocery store in the 'fridge and when the cramps woke me up I'd go drink about 4 to 6 ounces of the tonic water and the cramps are GONE in less than 10 minutes.  I've told several people about this and they have, every one, reported the same relief so I hope this little tidbit helps someone.  I personally like the taste of tonic water but most people don't.  A bit of lime does make it more palatable, though.  It's sold under the name of "Tonic water" made by Schwepps, Canada Dry, and various generic names.  You'll find it next to the club soda, seltzer water, and other "Mixers".  It's mainly used for the drink, "gin and tonic."
   My apologies for the length of this post eyes   
Wayne

Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 8/8/2005 12:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi and Welcome Wayne! tongue
 
I am glad that you have found some relief from your symptoms, but I don't believe for a minute that you have solved your problems.  Quite frankly, I'm puzzled and concerned by a Dr. that tells you that you have 'border line' hypertension and gives you a drug for that based on what you've told him and no further investigation on his, or her part?
 
I won't go into a big lecture here, but from what you've mentioned here, what you have done was not a legal or safe thing to do, by getting med.'s from your friend, or your spouse - you are very lucky you didn't have any adverse reactions to these and that you didn't compromise an already existing condition!  I say this because I don't want others to think this was a good idea - it was not!
 
I think based on what you've described here, that you may want to have an EKG, echocardiogram and a stress test done and find out why you are retaining fluid and having Shortness of Breath (SOB).
 
Good Luck!  Teri tongue
 
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Wanzewurld
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/8/2005 12:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Teri.
I agree with you on the inadvisability of what I've done but I can only offer desperation as a mitigating factor. The only thing the doctors I've seen are in agreement on is they don't hate my money. I had a stress test and EKG about 7 months ago and it was basically unremarkable for my age (58) and general condition. I had back surgery about 4 years ago which wasn't as successful as anticipated so I'm disabled and unable to get the exercise I need. Up until then I was an electrician and fairly active. I had a prior back surgery (L3-L4 laminectomy same location both times) about 25 years ago with wonderful results. I'm additionally homebound caring for my wife who has Hepatitis C, cirrhosis, and has recently developed hepatic encephalopathy. Needless to say there's probably some component of depression here and that coupled with my bad doctor experiences in the past few years has made me somewhat skeptical of the whole medical profession. My family doctor is currently evaluating me for high cholesterol and I'm trying to alter my diet. He did warn me about the side-effects of HCTZ and told me to get by with as small a dose as possible. It's difficult to express how so much treatment did me so little good for the past 15 years and how concerned the family doctor was that I obtain whatever measure of relief I finally did. I'm sure he would have been more skeptical without the recent stress test and EKG.
Good ain't ferever and bad ain't fer good.
You get what you INSPECT... Not what you EXPECT.
Just because you're paranoid don't mean somebody's not out to get you.
Never underestimate the power of large groups of stupid people.
 


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 8/8/2005 12:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Wayne, I can truly appreciate what you are saying and I'm so very sorry to hear about your wife!  I am still concerned about the health care you've received and would advise a 2nd opinion if at all possible.  Come visit me on the cardiovascular forum and perhaps you'll get a few suggestions from some of the other members there!
 
Hugs, Teri tongue
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Wanzewurld
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/8/2005 5:08 PM (GMT -6)   

Re: Visiting Cardiovascular

   Any particular thread(s)?  It's a pretty big place.  I glanced at some of the threads last night This morning) and saw quite a few that looked vaguely relevant.


Good ain't ferever and bad ain't fer good.
You get what you INSPECT... Not what you EXPECT.
Just because you're paranoid don't mean somebody's not out to get you.
Never underestimate the power of large groups of stupid people.
 


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 8/8/2005 6:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Wayne, I was thinking (& concerned) in particular about your shortness of breath and your edema (swelling) of the extremities like you mentioned. Start a thread and see what some of the other members suggestions are! I will offer my help as needed with different links.

Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating:


cindybells
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/9/2006 1:07 AM (GMT -6)   
hi wayne i hope you see this post. i know for a fact that antinflamatory drugs prescribed or over the counter can cause edema and congestive heart failure. you said that you had back surgerys and sometimes people take them after as well as before. they are the reason i had to start taking hctz

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 8265
   Posted 11/9/2006 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry you feel so bad and are having a hard time with your doctors.
Listen to teri. Teri had good advise and you never should have taken the Serevent because it's been pulled off the selves .
Pharmacies do not dispense Serevent anymore!
**This is for everyone Please do not take any medications that have not been prescribed to you because medications get pulled off the selves. This is a safety issue!!!**
I really hope you have better luck on the Heart forum
and if it's not heart related then maybe you should see an Asthma/Allergy Specialist!
Good Luck, God Bleass
(((Hugz)))

bluedog139
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 11/9/2006 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Chartreux,

Serevent has not been pulled from the market. It is available by itself and as part of Advair. They both carry black box warnings about the risks of using serevent, but you can still get it with an rx.

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 8265
   Posted 11/9/2006 4:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks bluedog139 for the update.
meds come on and off the market all the time I think this was pulled for a short while. I do better without it
take care
Good luck to you
nice to meet you bluedog139
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