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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Is it safe to use Albuterol with Serevent?

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: Is it Dangerous to use lots of albuterol when you are using Serevent?

If you are using Advair, is it true that the Serevent in it may make albuterol work less? I recently moved, and my new doctor seems very concerned about it, and doesn't like me to use albuterol every 4 hours, even though my previous doctor never mad an isssue of it. She says my albutrol receptors will get used up, but I thought you could never really overdose on albuterol. Can anyone help?

My humble answer: Ventolin and Serevent are both beta adrenergic medicines in that they seek out and land on beta adrenergic receptor cells in your lungs and the result is bronchodilation, or relaxing of the muscles surrounding air passages (bronchioles) in your lungs. It is a fallacy that these receptor cells become tolerant (used to) these medicines.

It is also a fallacy that Ventolin should not be used when Serevent is taken. Ventolin is not only safe to use in conjunction with serevent, the Serevent does not cause your "ventolin receptors" to become used to the Ventolin.

The asthma guidelines and most asthma experts recommend that even asthmatics who are using Serevent or Advair twice a day for asthma control should also carry a Ventolin inhaler on them at all times to treat acute asthma symptoms.

Just to make you feel better, I have been using Ventolin every 4-6 hours for the past three years even though I'm on Advair with no problems to report.

Question: If I have mild asthma, is it a good idea to quit taking Symbicort or Advair and use just Singulair instead. This is something I've been thinking of doing.

My humble answer: Your idea here might be worth trying, but do not do it without first discussing this with your doctor. It sometimes takes time, and trial and error, to find the right concoction of meds to control your asthma. Ideally you'll want the best asthma control with the least amount of medicine, and if Singulair alone works great. If it doesn't, then your doctor might recommend putting you back on Symbicort or some other medicine.

You and your doctor are a team and you need to work together to keep your asthma under good control. You'll also want to keep up to date on all the new asthma meds and asthma wisdom, as you never know when something new might become available to help you. A great place to do that is right here.

A great article worth reading is: Which asthma med works best?

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

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