In the past 16 days I have begun using Spiriva in addition to the 2 doses of Symbicort I was using daily. Although I get good (better) results from the combination than Symbicort alone, since starting the Spiriva, I am experiencing very dry mouth, and nasal passages to the extent that I occasionally experience light bleeding when I blow my nose.
My questions are, How serious is this side effect, Should I continue using the Spiriva, Continue the Spiriva but stop the Symbicort, or Drop both and just take Combivent which I currently use as my emergency inhaler? Are there other alternative that I and my doc should consider.
Spiriva (titropium) is a inhaled antihistamine indicated for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Antihistamines frequently cause dry mouth and dry sinuses (benadryl is an antihistamine). The side effect is not considered serious, but you should call your physician if it continues. A saline nasal spray can moisturize the sinuses and possibly reduce the symptoms. Inhaled steroid/beta-agonist combos such as Symbicort are considered standard therapy for patients with frequent or severe COPD symptoms. Continue the Symbicort unless your physician tells you to stop using it.
Because of serious side effects I quit the use of inhaled steroids two years ago. (I am at the lower edge of stage II COPD). I substituted natural anti-inflammatories and my breathing is better for it. What had been serious bronchitis abated. I continued to use DuoNeb and Zyrtec. But the real improvement was when a respiratory therapist suggested I take nebulized Mucomyst (acetylcisteine). I have not coughed one single time since I started using it and my FEV1 has improved 20 per cent.
Doctors routinely prescribe steroids with little thought to the problems they cause. In my case, in addition to congested lungs, they caused havoc with my adrenal glands. (In England they warn of adrenal fatigue - but here they pooh pooh it.) There are alternatives to steroids.
I forgot to mention that I had tried Spiriva when I was still taking steroids and experienced extreme drying, so gave it up. Now that I am rid of the steroids and am taking Mucomyst (a mucolytic) I plan to try Spiriva again.
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