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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What's a good replacement for Intal

Every day at we get lots of asthma related questions. Below are some questions I thought my readers at the RT Cave would enjoy.

Question: my mom says i cant drink or eat anything cold cause it "affects my asthma"

My humble answer: I have never heard of hot or cold foods being listed on any asthma trigger list. For a current list of asthma triggers check out this link.

Question: does singulair have steroids in it and could it cause weight gain. would like to know for my daughter who just turned 6 and she has been gaining weight?

My humble answer: I have never heard of Singulair causing weight gain. For a complete list of possible side effects of this medicine check out this link.

Question: My asthma symptoms are only present when I run, do I need to take meds when I am not running?

My humble answer: Your doctor is wise. Advair is a medicine that works so well to control asthma that it may actually prevent your exercise induced asthma (EIA) from occurring. Most asthma experts now believe that EIA should be treated as any other type of asthma. Since you are having asthma symptoms while running, chances are you have some underlying (chronic) inflammation in your lungs that is only aggravated when you run, thus causing your asthma symptoms. If you treat this underlying inflammation, you may be able to exercise without asthma symptoms. Advair is a great medicine to not only treat this underlying inflammation, but prevent any bronchoconstriction (airway narrowing) that might occur when you exercise. You may also learn that after being on Advair a while you may not even need to use your Maxair anymore. But, as always, whatever you decide to do please talk with your doctor first.

On a side note here, I can tell you from personal experience that Advair works great. I use it to control my asthma, and I am now able to exercise without my asthma flaring up (most of the time). My advice to you is try it and see what happens. You may really like the results.

Question: Intal is being discontinued. Is there any alternative medicine I can use.

My humble answer: Intal was once a top line asthma therapy for treating inflammation and preventing asthma and it was very safe. In fact, for about 15 years I used it. In fact, I used it way back in the 1980s when it had to be taken with a spinhaler which has been obsolete for quite a few years now.

With the advent of newer asthma wisdom, and the advent of medicines like Advair and Symbicort that are better at treating inflammation and equally safe, Intal is no longer considered a top line asthma therapy. Intal works rather well, but you may find that trying medicines like Flovent, Advair, Symbicort or Singulair may work even better than Intal at managing your asthma.

Personally, while Intal worked great for me for years, I find that Advair works much better. However, I have learned that many people I talk to that are on Intal today are on it because they had a bad reaction to the above mentioned medicines. If this is the case, your best option is to work with your doctor to find the best available medicine to help you.

At least now you have some options you can discuss with your physician. For more information, here is an excellent post you should read.

If you have any further questions email me, or Visit's Q&A section.


Danielle said...

If I drink something like a smoothie or a milkshake very quickly, I'll often cough and feel tight! Just as cold air affects my asthma, cold drinks do as well. Usually it's not bad enough for me to avoid drinking a milkshake though!!


Rick Frea said...

Thanks for the wisdom.

Anonymous said...

I was gonna throw in here that if I drink something cold very fast (like a smoothie) that I also get that tight cough, but I see Danielle beat me to it!