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 severely - 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