In RT School I asked my teachers about this wonderful medicine that saved my life so many times, and they had no clue what it was. A while back I wrote about my experience with Susphrine, and I could hardly find any information about it.
A few days ago, however, a doctor left a comment on the article I wrote (Susphrine: The asthma wonder drug of old) over at MyAsthmaCentral.com that finally gave me some information about this medicine.
The comment was this: .
I have been, (and still am), an ER doc for 21 years. I truly miss Susphrine. I found this story by searching for it to see if anyone still makes it. Yes, the newer drugs are great, but every once in awhile, there is a pt who comes to the ER that doesn't respond to anything but epinephrine. When that happens now, that pt has to be admitted, since epi will wear off in about 3 hours or so. Susphrine (which stood for "sustained epinephrine") was used in these pt's in the past since it would last 6 to 8 hours. By then, the steroids we gave these pt's would "kick in" and prevent the relapse. It is unfortunate that we no longer have Susphrine in our arsenal.
"Also, Susphrine was "sustained epinephrine" because it was epinephrine in an oil base that allowed it to be absorbed slowly.
I was so happy that doctor responded to my article and shared his wisdom. And what he says makes perfect sense too.I remember going to the ER or doctor's office, and sitting on the bed all frogged up gasping for air. The doc would order Susphrine, and within five minutes I'd be breathing great.
Then he'd order a shot of solumedrol (or whatever steroid was given back then). Although I didn't care about this shot. It didn't give me the relief of the Susphrine. Yet, it was both meds together that allowed the doc to send me home. I know that now.
Thankfully today we have so much better asthma wisdom and so much better medicine to prevent asthma in the first place most kids probably never need Susphrine.
But there are definitely some cases (especially for those hard luck asthmatics out there) where a longer acting epinepherine would come in handy.
Perhaps it's time to bring Susphrine back again.