My friend was telling me that she just had to use her Albuterol inhaler, and now her hands are shaking. She said that she probably had to use her Albuterol inhaler because she stopped using her controller inhaler. When looked at her surprised, she said she stopped using her controller inhaler because she didn't like the way it made her feel.
I wanted to give her one of those, "You know better than that!" lectures. Instead, I gently reminded her that her controller inhaler does just that - controls the swelling in her lungs. It's a preventative medicine (just like people who take medicine for high blood pressure or high cholesterol.) You have to take your preventative medicine every day, knowing that it works.
I grabbed my asthma medication poster from Allergy & Asthma Network and showed her the rainbow of inhalers that are available.
I told her that if she doesn't like her medicine, let her doctor know! The doctor is going to send a prescription to the pharmacy, and if they don't hear back from you, they are going to assume that you are taking it.
I showed her the green stripe on the poster, which shows all of the combination inhalers. That's the row that she's on now. I showed her where her inhaler was on the row and showed her all of the other inhalers that she could take. A lot of that depends on her insurance and which medicines her insurance company decides it wants to pay for.
It's helpful if she works with her doctor and pharmacy to see if she can switch her inhaler. I mean, what's the point of paying for an inhaler (we all know they aren't cheap.....) if she's not going to use it?
If you get a new inhaler, and don't like it. Don't stop taking it! Call your doc and let him know you don't like it. They can change your prescription to one you will use.
We all want good, healthy lungs. And part of keeping your lungs healthy is taking care of them. Which means staying on your controller inhaler if the doctor has prescribed one for you.
So, keep that conversation going with your doc!