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Heavy Dose of Inhaled Steroids

About 5 or 6 weeks ago ago, I had a serious asthma attack, which resulted in a persistent asthma flare up that I am still dealing with today. About two or three weeks ago, I saw an Allergist who was able to prescribe me a handful of medications to control my persistent and intense asthma symptoms. Thankfully, it seems to be successful. I'm not wheezing, (aside for a slight whistling sound when I breath), or having difficulty breathing since I started the new meds, and they are keeping me away from the ER, my nebulizer and prednisone. I'm also able to take small walks around my neighborhood now, which I couldn't do for a couple weeks prior to the new meds.
The new meds that the allergist prescribed me are Breo 200mcg/25 (morning), Sprivia Respimat (afternoon), and Arnuity 100mcg (evening). Also I was prescribed Zyrtec and Singulair to be taken at night, but I had to stop taking the singulair because it was giving me nightmares, and doing so hasn't seemed to affect me much. One day I did feel slightly short of breath, or so I thought, so I decided to take a puff of my albuterol. The effect was surprising. My heart began beating very fast and I could feel my breathing become fast and irregular. I wasn't wheezing, but almost hyperventilating. Even without taking albuterol, I have noticed recently that my heart seems to beat faster now, and my chest has a certain heavy feeling to it, (not wheezing), that I cannot really describe. I also tried having a glass of wine earlier this week, and couldn't even finish it because of the uncomfortable feeling in my heart and chest.
I followed up with my pulmonologist earlier this week, and he told me that, the meds that the allergist prescribed me is basically an inhaled steroid overdose. This worried me, of course, so I called my allergist today, and he said that, he's aware, yet, he wants me to continue with what he prescribed.
The Breo 200mcg, has about two weeks left, then I'm supposed to switch to Breo 100mcg. The Spiriva has about two days left, and I have another full 2 weeks of the Arnuity which the allergist told me to finish, as well.
I was wondering if anyone has had an experience similar to this? Or maybe someone can weigh in. I don't like this uncomfortable feeling in my chest/heart and feel worried to drink in moderation, exercise, drive more than 30 mins, meet up somewhere with a friend, or do anything other than relax and work from home.
In my own research, I have found little to no information on the side effects of inhaled steroids overdose. Do I just suck it up and do what the allergist says? Thoughts and comments are appreciated. Thank you.

  1. Hi again, Jared93, and thanks for your post. I have been following your posts here on our website and so, am somewhat familiar with your case, especially since we've interacted on our site before.

    You may be aware we cannot provide medical advice or diagnostics over the internet (for your own safety), but your concern certainly warrants a reply.

    This can be somewhat of a challenge since both doctors you are relying on seem to have a difference of opinion as to the course of treatment (medication) that has been prescribed.

    Sometimes, physicians, based on their experience, prescribe medications in a somewhat unorthodox manner in order to achieve a clinical response. Sometimes this happen when symptoms are not responding to conventional dosing practices. Perhaps that is why your pulmonologist commented the way he did.

    This is really something you should discuss, in earnest, with both the allergist and pulmonologist. If you could encourage them to collaborate on this treatment together (with you), that might help to put your mind at ease. You may want to seriously discuss the new, pronounced symptoms you have experienced as well as the reaction you had after drinking alcohol.

    What do you think?
    Leon (site moderator asthma.net)

    1. Thanks, Leon. The pulmonologist seemed to want to leave it all up to the allergist, since he's the one who prescribed me all the meds. He did mention that he would prefer me to be on Trelegy, rather than all those 3 inhalers. I told the pulmonologist the situation with the alcohol and he didn't have much of a comment on that, other than what he had already said about the overdose. Overall, I'm really glad that I'm not wheezing anymore, and, while I do have a strange feeling in my chest (and my mood), I'm glad that I can now take walks again, get a good night's sleep, and get some work done. So, something is working. If all goes well, hopefully, I can reduce to solely the Breo 100 by the end of the next couple weeks. And, a two week break from alcohol never hurt anyone. Part of me is just tired of being at home, and wanting to see some old friends, but I think I can buckle up for two weeks if I really take it easy.

    2. Hi again, Jared93 - I appreciate your latest reply (from 12:46pm, earlier today), to my comment. I am so glad to hear you say, you're going to take a break from the alcohol while you are on these doses and experiencing the symptoms you've shared here.

      As you said, a two-week break is just a small period of time to wait, given how much better you are feeling - that is what is important now! Breaking this episode of symptoms, and gaining more control over the condition is the objective!

      While you have the attention of both physicians, I would suggest you closely monitor your condition and the new set of symptoms. You'd ideally like to see your present condition continue to improve while the symptoms you've described lessen.

      Please do check back and let us know how you're doing. Please remember, you are always welcome here. If there is anything we can do to assist you during this period of time, please let me or any other moderator / team member know.

      Good luck and be well!!
      Leon (site moderator asthma.net)

  2. Jared93 I am in a similar situation, I tried Breo and it didn't work so now I use Anoro Ellipta, Qvar, Prednisone for the next 10 days, Allegra, Flonase and I can say that I found a combination that works, I am very active and have been able to work out without a rescue inhaler for the past 3 days. I really hope this combination does the trick since I have tried all the common available asthma inhalers and nothing has been able to give me long term control. I hope you find the combination that works for you, I believe in trial and error and it is not perfect but worth the try.

    1. ZIGB, wow, that's great that those inhalers are controlling your asthma and allowing you to exercise and do all your normal activities. Have you noticed anything irregular/uncomfortable with your heart beat? Have you been able to drink alcohol? (Just curious). It's so true that everyone's body is different, and we all react differently to different meds. I'm really glad you found the combo that works for you. I hope you continue to feel better after the prednisone, too. Thanks for sharing.

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