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Long Term Health Risks of Advair Diskus?
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Long Term Health Risks of Advair Diskus?

I have had a rather bad case of asthma since I was in my teens. I also started smoking when I was 11 years old and smoked for about 15 years until a severe asthma attack caused me to become bed ridden for a week and scared me enough to quit cold turkey. I was smoke free for almost three years, but right before my wedding I started up again (my fiance smoked). Months after the wedding, my husband's father died of emphysema due to smoking most likely. During the same time my asthma was getting worse. After eight months of smoking again and then the death of my father -in-law, my husband and I just quit smoking together on the same day practically and it wasn't even planned. We were just fed up. This was almost five years ago and we haven't looked back since!

Anyhow, I am totally off track. Unfortunately, my asthma didn't go away with the cigarette smoking. I am curious to know if there are any long term health risks to using the Advair Diskus? I have been using it since it came out at various different dosages depending on my needs at the time. Just curious to know what others have experienced. Thanks.
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746512_tn?1388811180
As long as you use it as your doctor prescribes it, you shouldn't have any long term effects.  If you are on a high dose long term there is possibility of some effects.  

The ones I know off the top of my head are below.  Remember those they are the same effects you get off of oral steroid tablets but at a much lower risk

Glaucoma, ostoporosis, adrenal fatigue/insuffiency, those are the only ones I can think of.  
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757137_tn?1347200053
I used Advair discus (250/50) for several years. These were the side effects I expereinced: (1) Severe adrenal fatigue (sometimes unable to walk), and high cortisol resulting in anxiety and panic attacks. (2) Damage to and loss of head hair; development of facial hair. (3) Early stages of glaucoma and the development of cataracts. (4) Development of thick, tenacious mucus which exacerbatied existing chronic bronchitis, and resulting in constant cough and sometimes in choking episodes so severe that I feared for my life. I developed a problem with my sinuses.

I mentioned my symptoms to the HMO lung guy who nodded and did nothing. I was getting so ill that I thought I would not make it trhough this winter. I knew that some of the side effects were due to Advair, but nowhere is the whole spectrum discussed. The makers make what happened to me sound like rare events. They are not. In any case I went to a doctor I rely on who is not part of any HMO and who does not take insurance (smart guy). He tested me for adreanal function. Bingo! I started taking 1000 mg. of vitamin B5 daily (steroids destroy B5) and other supplements. I was also prescribed a low-dose Xanax to deal with the panic attacks, to be used on an as-needed basis only.

Then, through a fluke, I started missing some of my Advair doses  I noticed I was feeling better and that made me think! I tried stopping Advair altogether and then going back on it. Culprit identified! The bronchitis subsided; the choking episodes disappeared. I added natural anti-inflammatories to my regimen. Went back to the HMO guy and he said it was probably the salmeterol in Advair that caused the problem. He prescribed a weak dose of an inhaled steroid. Same result. So I am off that poison for good. That was about four months ago. I still have emphysema; nothing is going to change that. But my condition is manageable without steroids and I am actually in better health. The glaucoma has reversed itself and my sinus headaches are a thing of the past. The facial hair is disppearing and I am hoping the lost head hair will return. The adrenal fatigue still recurs but not as often. It will continue to be a problem for some time.

Please don't take Advair. You can manage on natural supplements and they do not have side effects. I take the vitamin B5 I mentioned above, plus mullein extract and pure MSM powder, in addition to the more usual supplements.
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757137_tn?1347200053
To summarize, it was not emphysema that was killing me; it was Advair. Those around me will attest to that. One daughter even said it was as though I had been reborn.
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746512_tn?1388811180
Asthma is different from emphysema.  I'm very happy with advair, I was on it when I was diagnosed with asthma and helped me go from no sleep and coughing my brains out all day to actually feeling like myself again.  I switch down to pulmicort because I didn't like the LA bronchodiator (didn't think my asthma was bad enough to have it) and was doing well until 2 weeks or so ago.  Asthma came up, back on advair and it's starting to settle down again, thank God I can actually start to study for exams.  

I didn't now the facial hair was a side effect though .... I've always had some but it is ten times worse on advair now that I think about it ....

There are some people that do very well on the advair with no side effects, just like any drug.  I'm glad that you have success with only taking supplements but I don't think that is the case with severe asthma, you need something to help with the inflammation and bronchospasms on a regular basis.  
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942934_tn?1268111982
adrenal fatigue is a very rare side effect of some of the stronger steroid inhalers available. Generally speaking most people tolerate certain levels of steroid quite well. Adrenal issues are much more common when consuming oral steroids, such as prednisone, as the doses are substantially higher. Drugs taken orally go into the blood stream and enter all of the organs in your body. Inhaled steroids are like a topical ointment, where the drug will only interact with the cells on the surface of your airways. As a matter of fact, only a very little of the inhaled steroid will make it into your blood stream via it depositing onto the back of your throat rather then the lungs.
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757137_tn?1347200053
Emphysema may be different from asthma (as it happens I have both), but the side effects are not related to what you are being treated for. Those that I suffered are not rare. In fact deaths have been reported. If you are one of the lucky ones who fare well in this medication, then it is right for you. But be alert for developments if you are on this product long-term.
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757137_tn?1347200053
As regards your last sentence, there are reasons to believe that this is not as true as previously thought and the subject is being discussed. Obviously there must be some systemic effect.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been on Advair 250/50 disc for almost 4 years and when I started taking it, it felt like someone released a corset from around my lungs. I was able to take full breaths and walk again. I have beginning stages of COPD, Emphysema and have had severe Asthma and chronic Bronchitis since my teens (20 + years) I notice that when I forget to take my Advair for a couple of days, I end up congested, short of breath and coughing. I absolutely am happy with Advair as it has given me a second chance at life.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey there. Ok, So I know this is long, but read it, there is vital information in here that changed my life so I wanted to share it with others.

I am 18 years old and I had been on Advair Diskus since I was about 5. I just recently got off of it and I am more relieved than I have ever been before. My asthma had been fairly bad when I was young, with mild asthma attacks, so the doctor put me on advair. (I suspect the asthma developed because of environmental pollutants that were in our house at the time. Such as mold) Anyways, I had been on it for about 10 years, so I was about 15 or 16 at the time, can't remember exactly, when I had a full blown asthma attack. I had been up all night coughing because I had just run out of medicine, the pollen was bad, and I had started to get worried. By the time the morning rolled around, I was still struggling but I was fine until I started panicking. Someone had asked me if I was ok and I started to cry because I got scared and then we went to the bathroom so I could sit in the bathroom with the steam to help me breathe. That's when I had the worst attack I had ever had in my entire life. I remember my airway shutting off completely and the only thing I could do was say "I can't breathe'' and that's when it went chaotic. I remember managing to walk down the front stairs to get into the car and throwing up numerous times (all over the back seat if I might add, in my car lol) and then we raced to the nearest doctor's office. One of the last things I remember was trying to get out of the car and blacking out right as my mom started to try to carry me inside. The next thing I remember is i'm in a room with some doctor's with a mask on my face, still in my pajamas. I was informed that I had an oxygen level of %60. For those of you who don't know, having a level that low means that you have little to no oxygen in your lungs.  I nearly died that day and I thank my Guardian Angels everyday, for watching over me. Long story short, DON'T PANIC, lol. I panicked and it just about killed me haha (Might as well joke about it, since I am still here :) ) Now if I start to get scared or light headed, I take more supplements immediately, sit up, think about something else, and MEDITATE. It slows and calms the breathing. Most of the time when I get scared, I just need to take it easy and not focus too much on it because that leads to panicking and you know what comes next... It's all in the mind, and if you say to yourself "I am fine and my lungs are healed" it helps tremendously just because it is a strong affirmation.

About 2 1/2 months ago, I completely got off of the advair. I use supplements from a Naturopath near me. She got to the underlying ROOT CAUSE of my asthma. Which is the most important thing to look for. If you have a problem such as asthma, it is most likely a result of something else. My problem is that I have/had a severely toxic liver as a result from low stomach acid (which a majority of the population has and doesn't even know it) and it would cause poor digestion, leading to foods going into the liver not properly prepared and from there on the too large, undigested food molecules leak from the gut and continues on. (I'm being very vague here, look for more info online) Also, what helped me was liver flushes/cleanses. This is because there are huge amounts of toxins/buildup from meds,foods,pollutants,etc. that form into balls and get trapped in your liver. (yes, the liver) If you do a series or just one liver cleanse, you will start to feel a difference. Remember that NOT everything is as it seems and to look for the ROOT of the problem, there always is one.  Hope this helps

Gabriela
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