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From QVAR to BREO Ellipta, still on prednisone —- symptoms help

well, I think my asthma coughing and shortness of breath may finally be improving. I am still using my rescue inhaler, but not as frequently.  I’m not sleeping as well with the Breo switch. And, the prednisone is still making me crazy and way more sensitive and emotional (the family is dealing with it pretty well). 

My question today is about acute/heartburn-like pain in my right upper back. Felt like intense heartburn (I do take Prilosec twice a day). I took to tums before bed, the pain woke me last night, back to sleep. Woke at six, used restroom. Woke at seven, same intense upper right back pain (behind shoulder blade), rolled over- no relief, fell asleep, woke up still hurting, sat up, still hurting. So, I got up- hurts when I stand or sit. I took a.m. Prilosec, pain still there. Is this all just annoying heartburn or does Breo have side effects of cardiac issues or gall bladder or anything else? Due to prednisone, I may be a little more paranoid. But, so many new meds, I don’t want to ignore symptoms that I shouldn’t  

Any ideas or experience with this? Sorry for the paranoia- it s probably just heartburn. Going to try to eat now, see if that helps. Thanks for listening.

 

 

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  • Melissa G

    Mmm, I would contact your dr to me on the safe side. the only time I have seen medications cause heartburn, is when my dh was taking a medication for his diabetes. He actually thought/felt like he was having a heart attack. It was awful. The medication actually was causing severe heartburn, he had to be taken off the medication and was put on something else. 

  • Shadowcat04

    Thanks for the advice. I have taken Prilosec today before bfast and dinner. Hoping that will help. Initially, my primary care doc wanted me to take the Prilosec to see if it helped the asthma. It didn’t seem to male a difference, but now maybe it’s making a difference the other way around. 

    I have not used my rescue inhaler so far today. This is a first in many days. I’m trying to see if I can make it through an entire day. I took the Breo and prednisone and so far only a little coughing. Doubt I’ll make it through school tomorrow. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Yay for the no rescue inhaler! But ugh on the pain. How is it today?

    Have you had a chance to reach out to your doc? Since the pain is waking you up from sleep, and since it does fall into the "might be gallbladder issues" type of pain, I'd definitely want to check it out. 

    I've not heard of any side effects about gallbladders from Breo.

    I had gallbladder issues myself (totally unrelated to any meds), and my pain was quite similar. So could you check in with your doc? 

  • Shadowcat04

    I have an appointment Oct. 1 with my asthma doc. And will check in with her then or call sooner if it continues. I took Prilosec twice yesterday and today and it is okay so far today. 

    Prednisone is done tomorrow, maybe being done with that will help some stomach issues, too. I hope that this time when I stop my breathing will be okay. Last time I only stayed off it for about 4 days before I had to go back on. 

    Am I going to have trouble when I stop the prednisone? I took 5 days of 40 mg, the 4 days off then 10 days of 40 mg and done tomorrow. I’ve read about withdrawal or adrenal withdrawal?

    i probably shouldn’t worry ahead of time. 

  • LK

    First, it would be a really good idea to maybe call your doctor since it is waking you up at night.  For me, anything that hurts that much would be a next-day call to my doctor.   

    I have taken several different meds for heartburn.  I was on Prilosec and for a long time it seemed to help and then it didn't.  Then I was on an Rx for only Pantoprazole and when I was still having heartburn at night my doctor upped the dose of Pantoprazole to 40 mg in the mornings and added over-the-counter Pepcid AC 20 mg in the evenings.  I asked the pharmacist if this was a common combination and she said many people use these together.  It has really helped me.  

    Please check with your doctor in case it is something totally unrelated to heartburn!

  • Pljohns

    I'm with the others-a few years back I tried Dulera-it did wonders for my asthma but after about a week, I started waking up during the night with awful/worsening chest pain.  No jaw pain, no nausea, no shortness of breath, none of the red light's for heart issues so at 2AM one morning I hit the internet and found that it did have chest pain listed as a reaction to stop taking immediately.  I was like you and tried everything for reflux etc and nothing was helping.  As soon as I found that and quit the meds, within a day the pain went away and never came back.  I would definitely call your doc and not wait until Oct. 1.

  • K8sMom2002

    Shadowcat, as long as your doc has ok'd the taper, then you should be okay medically as far as the pred. If I had any questions about it — say you'd called and your doctor had fiddled with the dosage but hadn't changed the overall plan, then I would call about that, too.

    Gosh! It sounds like we're always calling our docs! I guess in a way we are. It's hard at first to figure out everything to ask. But eventually I did get to a point where I could remember all the high points and the questions I needed to ask. (That was only because I finally remembered what I kept forgetting!)

    You could also talk to your pharmacist … they are the undervalued team member, if you ask me.

    I'm glad you're seeing your doc … I do hope you can get to the bottom of things. Lynn is right … sometimes it's just a med issue, but often times, those side effects will go away. 

  • Shadowcat04

    Day 2 off prednisone- so tired that I fell asleep from 7-8 tonight and last night. Feeling achy, too. Hard to concentrate at work today, too. 

    I was basically on prednisone for 15 days, I hope this isn’t withdrawal. 

    On Friday I have a very busy, late night- so I kinda have to be fully functional. Will I be better by then?

  • Kathy P

    Hugs on feeling tired. Fatigue isn't fun. Do you time to be able to rest before Friday? Hopefully things will perk up. 

  • Shadowcat04

    Unfortunately, I was feeling even worse by the end of the work day today. This is day 2 without prednisone. I am exhausted, fell asleep for almost two hours when I got home from work. I feel achy all over. I’ve started coughing a bit more- but not bad. Headache, too. No fever, but feel like it.  If this is prednisone withdrawal, I hope it is gone quickly. If not, I better not be getting sick.

    I’m on week two of Breo Ellipta and still taking xyzal and Prilosec. 

    Tomorrow evening I take my daughter up to an outdoor camp for an Outdoor School training she will be attending and I will be volunteering for. I just have to survive that!

  • Pljohns

    shadowcat-I'm so sorry you are having such a hard time.  I don't know about others but when I come off prednisone, I feel like a train hit me for a few days-it's AWFUL.  Hopefully what you have is the withdrawal and not getting sick.  Sending tons of   and feel better vibes for you

  • Shadowcat04

    Still feeling bad today, but I don’t work today. Kids are at school, dh is at work. I have two cats, a warm blanket and a comfy couch. I plan on dozing through the morning. 

    Feeling exhausted, a little stuffy, sore throat, run-down and achy. 

  • Shadowcat04

    Thank you for the well wishes as I figure out asthma flares, prednisone treatments, stopping prednisone, med changes, viruses vs. asthma, so much to learn! 

    Im still feeling yucky and now getting a cough and a little chest tightness. Not as bad as before, though. Last night I was up at an outdoor camp for several hiours and only needed my inhaler once. This morning the cough is a little worse. I can rest some today, though. 

  • LK

    Shadowcat,  For me, sometimes the breathing/chest tightness is worse the day after I have been exposed to my triggers.  Maybe today's cough and tightness is from yesterday evening's activities?  Cool evening air is something that gets me every time and sometimes really hits me the next day.  I wonder if it is because when I go to bed right after being out in the evening air, I don't notice that my breathing is worse and my chest is tighter until I wake in the morning?  

    Hope you feel better!!

    I'm with you!  Always learning about my asthma and all that goes with it!

  • Pljohns

    Shadocat-hope you are better and have been able to rest some.  I’m wth Lisa-the day after is worse for me.  

    I think we are all still learning and about the time I think I’ve got part of it figure out, it changes.  That’s why everyone here is so helpful-don’t know what I’d do without this forum!

  • LK
    Pljohns posted:

    I think we are all still learning and about the time I think I’ve got part of it figure out, it changes.  That’s why everyone here is so helpful-don’t know what I’d do without this forum!

    Yes, me, too, Lynn!  

  • Shadowcat04

    Started teaching kids today. Pretty exhausted by end of the day. Started coughing during one class, thought I wasn’t going to be able to stop- but managed to. Used rescue inhaler and that helped some. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Gracious, Shadowcat. I hope that you are able to get home and crash and get the rest you need. Coming off of prednisone is a serious challenge to your body if you've been on it for any length of time. 

  • Shadowcat04

    Well, day two of teaching.  Singing songs, reading stories aloud, lots of talking and movement. I was getting out of breath with some of the singing and my energy level is still low- but you just keep moving forward. 

    At least I don’t work on Fridays. Therefore, Friday’s hit me pretty hard and I usually end up sleeping most of the day and feeling almost sick. 

  • Kathy P

    Hugs – sounds like you are doing a lot of activity! For me, I'd have to treat that like "exercise"  I know if I'm in a string of meetings all days and doing a lot of talking/presenting, I can be left feeling winded…and I'm sitting in a chair! I just know it irritates my lungs in a different way.

    I hope things adjust for you 

  • Melissa G

    Shadowcat, how have the last two days been? I hope you are able to get some rest this weekend!

  • Shadowcat04

    The pace of work and parenting has been exhausting, some coughing at night (needed my inhaler). Yesterday I used my last dose of Breo Ellipta 200/25. I thought I had two more samples, but when I got out the sample this morning I realized the samples are Breo Ellipta 100/25. Uh oh, half dose. Taking a double dose didn’t seem to be a good idea. Taking a single dose seemed better than taking nothing. By lunchtime I was coughing more, a little trouble catching my breath and a feeling of shortness of breath. I used albuterol and that helped. So, I guess the Breo is helping. 

    Called the pharmacy- won’t be ready until tomorrow evening. They said I can’t double the dose of the 100, either. Any thoughts or advice on this? Just stay the course on the half dose?

  • Shadowcat04

    Got correct RX today, so I can take the right dose tomorrow morning. Tonight and this weekend there’s an air show. The air is smelling smoky already. Hoping it doesn’t bother me too much. We are close to the air show, but not right by it. 

  • Melissa G

    So happy to hear you got the correct dosage!! yay! yikes on the air show. Do you have a mask you can wear?

  • Shadowcat04

    The air show is over today. I had two days of the half dose Breo and some smoky air. My husband left town this weekend, too, so I’m doing the single parent thing until Wednesday. The school week is going to be sooo crazy and then soccer, marching band practice, after school meetings and back to school night at my school.  

    I’ve noticed that I need my rescue inhaler every 4 hours and it really helps.  I have my asthma doctor’s appointment tomorrow. I need to make a list of questions- one of which is to request a written asthma action plan. That would help lower my anxiety, I think- which makes the asthma worse. 

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    Hi Shadowcat04, So glad you have your allergist appointment today. It's a great idea to get an action plan–it has helped me to better understand what my next steps are supposed to be. Do you have one printed out yet? If not, feel free to use .

    What time is your appointment?

    Good luck!!

  • Pljohns

    Shadowcat-hopefully your doctor can give you an action plan so you will have it in the future if you need it.  Let us know what he says!

  • Shadowcat04

    The appointment went well. Everyone is very nice.  They asked lots of questions about how the meds were working and my mind blanked a bit, mostly just remembering the last few days. Then I started piecing things back together. I was still coughing some. I did the Spirometry test- they never tell me the results. The doctor tried to pin it on the kids I teach again. I don’t think it’s that, though it can worsen the coughing. She said that my palate was low and my uvula was low and asked if I have sleep apnea or snoring problems, especially on my back. I told her I’ve had 3 times of a swollen infected uvula the last few years. I told her I don’t sleep on my back anyway because I can’t due to childhood sexual abuse – it gives me nightmares and I wake up in a panic. 

    Anyway, she referred me to an ENT to look at the palate and uvula- I’m a little nervous about that idea, but I’ll do it. 

    Lastly, I did remember to ask for the Asthma Action Plan. It was pretty vague- listed peak flow numbers and symptoms to watch for. The middle (yellow) section just said to use pro air until I’m back in the green. It didn’t prompt me to call the doctor or make an appointment or get RX for prednisone or anything. Then the red zone said- peak flow 200- call 911 or go to ER. I guess it’s a starting point. 

    Like last time, after she said see you in 6 weeks, I’ve started coughing more and feeeling a little SOB. I have yet to go more than 3-4 weeks between appointments.

     

  • Pljohns

    Shadowcat-glad the appointment went well and you at least have a plan now.  Hopefully you can go more than 3-4 weeks without having to be seen!

  • Shadowcat04

    Seem to be coughing more. I have been super exhausted, too. I’m going to try doing half a xyzal tonight. I think that might be the source of fatigue. Seems my PFM goes down by midday and evening, using albuterol. 

  • Melissa G

    It doesn't seem to make a difference what antihistamine I take, they all make me tired. I hope the 1/2 of xyzal helps. 

  • Pljohns

    Shadwocat-hope you are feeling better today and have been able to rest.  I take OTC Zyrtek and it seems to work Ok for me but I don’t have to take it all the time.

  • Shadowcat04

    Now I have a cold virus. Coughing increasing. PFM still about the same. Coughing at night is bad, breathing sounds raspy when laying down, too. I got a sub for school today and just laid on the couch with the cats. 

    I really hope I don’t have to call the asthma doctor’s office again. This keeps happening! Flares! Viruses! Breathing issues! I get so anxious about when to call. My breathing isn’t too bad yet. Been using albuterol and continuing maintenance meds. also taking cold/ flu meds. 

  • LK

    Oh, Shadowcat!!    I do hope and pray you are doing better this morning!!  I know exactly what you mean about when to call the doctor.  I would venture to suggest that if you are not better this morning, now would be a good time for you to call.  I have had to call my pulmo six days out of the last 8 and felt each time like maybe I should just wait and see how I am doing.  Truly, though, I am glad I did each time, if nothing else than to give my doctor a "heads up" about how I was doing and if I needed to go see him.  When I am really having a hard time with a long or bad flare, even with an asthma action plan, if I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel then I call.  Please let us know how you are today!