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Medications not working????

hi everyone I am new here, thank you for taking time to read. I have a history of Athsma and allergies l. The last few days have been rough, I’ve had wheezing tight chest trouble breathing some post nasal drip too. My Dr. did an x ray which come back clean and also gave me prednisone but my symbicirt, albuterol snd prednisone are not helping. The weird thing is once I go to bed at night the symptoms kind of go away and stay awAy until after I’ve been up for a few hours. I was wondering if it might be an allergy related thing because my wheezing is classified as “rhonchi” or bronchial wheezing. Anyone have anything similar ever? Thank you so much!! 

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  • Melissa G

    Hi Kyle! Welcome to AAFA! 

    So very sorry to hear you are having struggles! Have you had allergy testing done before? This time of year is bad for mold and ragweed.  Here is the  You can see if you live in a challenging area to live in if you suffer from allergies. Are you taking any allergy medication?

  • kyle boeckmann

    Hi I am allergic to ragweed and do live in the Syracuse NY area. I just today took Claritin but was told it will not help with any asthma related issues only like itchy eyes and runny nose, basically hay fever but I figured it can’t hurt!

  • Melissa G

    For us if we can control our PND (post nasal drip), we can have more control over our asthma. If Claritin, doesn't work, didn't for us, there are many antihistamines on the market. I hope it does work well for you, and that you start feeling better soon!

  • kyle boeckmann

    What did you find worked better? Zyrtec? And no I don’t have an action plan l will have to look into those not sure what it is honestly! Thank you!!

  • Melissa G

    An asthma action plan are directions from your doctor to let you know when you take your emergency meds, how often etc…..

    Claritin didn't work for us at all. Zyrtec worked for awhile, now we are taking Xyzal. That has really been helping. And it now available in generic form. 

  • MissE

    Hi there!  So sorry you're not doing well; this is a rough time of year for all of us.

    If it really is an allergy thing, you can actually double up on allergy medications. When mine get bad, I'll take Allegra in the morning, Zyrtec at night, and supplement with Benadryl and Claratin as needed. 

    If you're newly on your Symbicort, I would suggest giving it a few weeks before you change medications. Sometimes, it takes a bit for symptoms to get better on a new medication. However, if you've been on it for a while, you might want to change things up. I know personally, Symbicort had some nasty side effects for me, but I've heard of it working very well for others.

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma
    Melissa G posted:

    An asthma action plan are directions from your doctor to let you know when you take your emergency meds, how often etc…..

    Claritin didn't work for us at all. Zyrtec worked for awhile, now we are taking Xyzal. That has really been helping. And it now available in generic form. 

    Kyle, Welcome to the community–so glad you found us!  You can download and take it with you to your next appt. I'm grateful for my plan because it keeps me focused when I'm having symptoms and I can't remember what to do next. Walking through the plan helps me make sure that I'm doing exactly what the doctor would tell me to do. 

    Do you have an appt coming up with your allergist? 

  • kyle boeckmann

    Hi! I do not with the allergist, I actually have not seen an allergist since 2013…. I do have an appointment with a pulmonologist coming up, hopefully they can help! I am going to the regular Dr. today also hopefully maybe try some more allergy specific medication compared to straight asthma. 

  • kyle boeckmann

    Hi guys, they basically said not much they can do, I am starting singular though. I have a specialist appt oct 11. Anyone know how long it could take to maybe help? 

  • Shea

    Hi Kyle, welcome to the forum. I was started on singulair for allergies snd it helped a lot at first but then I started getting more sick than ever and I ended up developing a disease that my pulmonologist said used to be rare but is now being correlated with singulair, and he called singulair a bad drug (the chronic allergic disease is called Churg-Strauss Syndrome). It is rare, but it gave me a heart attack at age 26 from allergic blood cells called eosinophils surrounding my heart and choking it, and nearly killed me, so I now feel obligated to warn people starting singulair. The disease developed after a year on it– so you can talk to your doctor– I would never stay stop takung a medication prescribed because I am not a doctor. I had no warning about the singulair being correlated with this disease, nor did my doctor refer me to a specialist, and he had missed warning signs in my bloodwork before the heart attack– so I think it is good that you are seeing a specialist bevause they can be so much better than primary care docs when knowing what to look for and managing asthma and allergies. I also recommend allergy testing because it helped me get aware on what is triggering me and how to avoid. 

  • kyle boeckmann

    Hi, thank you for sharing that information, I will make sure to keep that in mind if I notice anything. Hopefully I do not need to be on the meds for long just enough to get me to the specialist in a week and half. I am glad you recovered from that disease. 

  • LK

    Hi Kyle,

    I have been on Singular for six years and thankfully have not had any problems with it.  I remember my doctor telling me that it would take 3-4 weeks for the new medicine to take effect.  It is so hard to be patient when it's hard to breathe!  Will keep you in my prayers.

    I hope it helps you!  

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, Kyle, so frustrating for you that your docs couldn't give you more guidance. I do hope the specialist appointment will help. Whether it's a pulmonologist or an allergist, they can help you with your asthma action plan. 

    I think it's really good that you're noticing a trend, and that it's an odd trend. Many people see asthma get a bit worse at night, so it's good to bring that up to your docs. 

    It could be for a lot of different reasons:

    • your bedroom could be more free of allergens and triggers
    • you could be dealing with asthma that is triggered more by post nasal drip
    • your med schedule could be that it's kicking in at just the right time.

    My asthma and my daughter's asthma also tend to get worse with post nasal drip, so if we can control it, our asthma is under better control.

    Like Misse (hi, Misse, and welcome!) has said, your doctor can advise you about adding in or changing your over the counter antihistamines or adding a decongestant. Definitely check with your doc first, though, and your pharmacist, because each person's medications are unique. For us, our daughter's allergist has upped her daily Zyrtec up to twice a day during peak allergy months.

    Getting plenty of water, possibly taking a decongestant and sleeping on an inclined pillow were all suggestions our allergists have given us for dealing with post nasal drip.

  • kyle boeckmann

    Hey guys anyone ever heard of something with your throat called vocal dysfunction it  looks very similar to asthma and does not react to the asthma meds. I’m going to otolaryngologists Friday I’m really struggling with nothing helping! My throat has been tight and I’ve been like wheezing through my throat it seems?? Thank everyone stay safe!

  • K8sMom2002

    Hey, Kyle, yes, some of our members have been diagnosed with . It can look a lot like asthma, and people can have both it and asthma at the same time. 

    Speech therapy can help improve VCD, which can help with overall difficulty in breathing. 

    So glad you are going to see an ENT! Let us know what the doc says.

  • Shea

    My doctors had me checked for vcd but no i dont have it but they have said my exhale wheeze can be throaty and even when my lungs are clear after using inhalers I can still have some wheeze on the exhale. 

    Another thought about the time of day trend– some foods (especially things high in sulfites like dried fruits, grape juice and wine) can cause asthma to flare up– so if you do notice it after you eat certain foods than make a bote of it for your doctor. 

    I think my issue with singulair was that it was not fully stopping the allergic teaction at a blood level, and it was allowing me to be around cats abd dogs by stopping some of the big symptoms abd therefore I had a high exposure to allergens and got high eosinophils causing a more hidden internal inflammation. If I would have been seeing an allergist or pulmonologist and not just my primary care doctor, they may have been able to tell me to not live with things I am allergic to and about the dangers of high eosinophils. So I am not totally blaming the medication singulair, but I do think it played a significant role in the disrase– which is chronic I wish it was not lifelong but at least it is semi under control for me now with maintenence prednisone and strict avoidance of allergens. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Shea, that's an excellent reminder of why an allergist or pulmonologist needs to oversee care for asthma. For one thing, they have additional training. For another, they can recognize when they need to dig deeper. 

    Kyle, thinking of you — good luck today!

  • kyle boeckmann

    Hi guys, I did the breathing tests precand post albuterol, after was s 20% increase in function so that was kind of interesting they said anything overb10% improvement is significant. They put me on Spiriva to try and help so now I have that plus albuterol plus symbicirt plus Singulair. Still have some issues though not much has changed I go back in 8 weeks if not improved to do a gfx or something? Like a workout and they examine lung functions during that time. How is everyone else doing??!

  • K8sMom2002

    I'm glad the tests gave your doctor more information — is the Spiriva helping you any, do you think? 

    What are the main issues that you're still dealing with?

  • kyle boeckmann

    I did the spirometer thing and the Feno test also. The spiroetry showed significant improvement after the albuterol.

  • K8sMom2002

    Kyle, I'm really hoping that the new meds will help you and you can be done with testing for awhile. It's good that they saw things improve with the albuterol. What did the FeNo test show? 

  • Shea

    Kyle, it sounds like you have a good treatment plan to start. Just make sure you use the inhalers as prescribed– when I first was diagnosed I would try to only use the inhaled steroid (in your case the symbicort) like an as needed inhaler but it doesnt work that way– it needs to be taken as prescribed (with is usually once or twice daily regardless of symptoms), whereas a rescue inhaler is usually used as needed for shortness of breath. I found out the reason is the albuterol will open you up like that blowing out air into the mouthpiece/ PFT test showed so you can breathe better, but the inhaled steroid works by regularly coating the inflammation in your airways and lungs and only lasts a certain amount of time before it needs another dose. That feNo test will often be able to see how much inflammation is still there. Hopefully by your next appointment you will be feeling better and the results will show it too in the tests!

    I have been having issues in my nasal passages and sinus pressure headaches lately, although my breathing seems to be doing well. My follow-up appointment us next Tuesday with my allergist. I hate nasal sprays but I am considering them. Right now I use this MyPurmist steamed air thing that helps but I still wake up completely stuffed up and with a headache. And I swear I have done everything in my room to keep dust low but at the sane time… I am sure there must be something I can do still. Later today I am going to try to clear some clutter off my dresser. 

  • Melissa G

    Kyle, have you noticed any improvement since being on the Spiriva? How have the last few days been?

  • kyle boeckmann

    Hey to be honest I have actually had almost no issues at all! It took about a week-2 weeks for full effect but I have not used my rescue inhaler since that point! I have gained like 6 lbs but that could just be me sitting around at work…..

  • Melissa G

    That is fantastic news on not having to take your rescue inhaler!! Sorry for the weight gain…for me it's too many fall foods…pumpkin donuts, apple cider donuts…

  • kyle boeckmann

    Ha that is a very real possibility for me as well! I very seriously would recommend the spiriva, I had never even heard of it before I went to the pulmonology place, never came up with my dr. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Isn't it great when you get a doctor who can evaluate you and give you a chance at a medication that might help … and it does?

    Yay! And condolences on the six pound weight gain!