Suspending the sprays, sidestepping side-effects

UPDATE: I kind of simplified what I was actually doing for the sake of the blog post, but you’re right and maybe I should add a warning to others not to follow my example. I’ve been weaning myself off the dose for a while, my GP was happy for me to do that and I have a pending thyroid test. Last one was fine, didn’t show any depression of T etc. I have, however, noticed the side-effects I reported as diminishing somewhat over the last couple of weeks.

WARNING: This post does not constitute medical advice, please talk to your GP before setting out on any self-revised prescription…

People rarely read the patient information leaflets that come with their medicine…well, I say that, I have no evidence for it other than anecdote and the fact that I don’t. Well, I have occasionally, but hadn’t for my asthma meds (a combined reliever, preventer called Symbicort that contains formoterol (long-acting beta-agonist, LABA, reliever) and the corticosteroid budesonide (the preventer). I’ve been on this medication for a couple of years because my previous preventer (beclomethasone) was giving me a really dry throat and adding far too much huskiness to my singing voice.

It’s only recently, however, that I’ve been wondering whether some symptoms I’ve been experiencing this last year or two might be down to the inhaler. So, I checked out the list of side-effects for the Rx and sure enough there are probably 4 or 5 things listed from which I suffer sporadically and with no apparent pattern. I had started to put some of them down to the morning-after-the-night-before type effects and more painfully, simply getting on a bit, I am soon to depart my fifth decade after all, but now I’m half worried that I’ve been poisoning myself all this time with my asthma treatment.


I wonder whether these various problems are due to my regular daily dose of corticosteroid and I’ve decided to stop taking the preventer/reliever for a few days to see whether any of the “side-effects” dissipate. Of course, it’s the worst time to do a personal clinical trial as Xmas is almost upon us, I will hopefully not be spending much time at my desk and may even have a few glasses of the hard stuff, as well as being exposed to at least a couple of relatives’ cats. So, it’s always going to be personal anecdotal evidence,and not double-blinded and certainly not controlled.

But, I’ve had enough of my extraneous, idiopathic symptoms, which could be due to the reliever or the preventer, or both, or neither (who knows?) and having read that there are growing concerns about long-acting beta agonists, even when used in parallel with a preventer, I’m going to take a leap of faith. The ENT specialist who checked out my vocal cords (more properly known as vocal folds) when I was getting all husky suggested I should wean myself off the corticosteroids anyway, so here goes. If I don’t end up being hospitalised having had a serious bronchospasm episode, I’ll let you know how I get on. Breathe easy…

Author: bob投注平台

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.