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t_panic411-

Like you, I developed asthma as an adult (35 y.o. in my case) and it sucks, and I'm wondering whether I am doomed to be always worrying about my breathing for the rest of my life. But, the right combination of meds can make a significant difference. I think your situation can be improved by seeing an asthma specialist to get your meds straightened out and a comprehensive treatment plan based on monitoring your peak flow put in place.

You can get levalbuterol (Xopenex) in a standard inhaler now. I carry one around everwhere that I go. For me, the levalbuterol causes MUCH less shakiness than albuterol. The reason for this is that albuterol is actually a mixture of two compounds: levalbuterol and its enantiomer (dexalbuterol). Roughly speaking, levalbuterol is responsible for the good effects (relaxing smooth muscle in the lung and allowing you to breathe more easily) and dexalbuterol causes the side effects (shakiness, elevated heart rate, etc.).

I think you need to give the Qvar more time to work. It took at least two weeks for the inhaled steroid to really damp down the inflammation in my lungs. The effects of inhaled corticosteroids come on so slowly it is hard to notice day-by-day. However, after a couple of weeks you will feel better. I haven't had any problems with yeast infections, but I rinse thoroughly and brush my teeth after inhaling.

I'm no medical doctor, but I think your meds aren't right. You are nebulizing levalbuterol as a "daily control" med, but essentially using the same med (albuterol) for your "rescue" medication. There is only so much good that you can get out of a short-acting beta-agonist like albuterol.

The more standard combination is a "long acting" beta agonist like salmeterol as the "daily control" med and albuterol or Xopenex as the "rescue". This is in addition to a corticosteroid (like Qvar, Pulmicort, Asmanex) taken for long term control. Many people are on Advair which is a mixture of salmeterol and a steroid in one inhaler. Beta agonists and corticosteroids can work together, so the combination is more effective than either drug alone.

Like I said before, I think you need to see an asthma specialist to get your meds straightened out and put together a comprehensive treatment plan.

The Knight Who Says Ni !
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