It is my understanding the Combivent is a rescue inhaler. You should use it as prescribed and/or as needed. You doctor added the FLovent because he/she did not feel that you were getting the control you needed from the previous treatment plan. I would consider the Flovent as an addition to you previous routine and not change anything.
Severent (salmeterol) can have very serious side effects, death being the most notable. Flovent is a corticosteroid. Read the FDA warnings of February 2010.
Like you I have moderately severe COPD. I use Duoneb (similar to combivent) in a nebulizer and find it very helpful. I discontinued the use of Advair (which is basically a combination of Serevent and Flovent) because it almost killed me (choking). It also caused adrenal fatigue, was harming my eyes, and was subverting my immune system.
In place of Advair I use a variety of natural anti-inflammatories and mucolytics. My health is much improved and I found that the severe bronchitis I had was in fact CAUSED by the Advair. I am now trying Spiriva, which I take only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday because it is drying. If there is not much benefit I will quit using it altogether.
I feel much better without Advair and no longer have those horrible emergencies that have me rushing and gasping to my nebulizer.
I've been told, that the problem with salmeterol is that it masks bronchial problems by dilating the bronchial tubes. Problems that finally break through are then to serious to do anything about. However, I find the fools paradise irresistible. I prefer to belive that having COPD is not so bad.
Serevent and meds like it are long acting beta2 agonists (long acting broncho dilaters). They are standard treatment for COPD and perfectly safe for that disease. The problem comes in when they are used long term for asthma, and them mainly when no inhaled steroid is used. The only people who have had a problem with these meds are asthmatics. It is not clear exactly what the problem is, but some believe that it is inappropriate use of the medication - ie using it as a rescue inhaler.
The medications you are on are apropriate for COPD. You should discus the use of combivent with your doctor. It may not be needed on a scheduled basis anymore depending on the severity of your disease.
Yes, it feels like I don't need the combivent regimen since I started the flovent. I use the combivent mainly before exercise with 02. . Unfortunately my insurance is minimal and I only get to see my pullmanary doctor who proscribes these meds, once every six months. Next I see him I will have a list of questions; partial derived from the excellent discussions on this board. Thanks to all for these discussions.
I was able to get help for my inhaler directly from the manufacturers through a company called The Rx Solution. I am on symbicort. There are patient assistance programs through certain manufacturers and with their help it was a really simple process. My medications get sent directly to my house every three-four months. I would recommend them to anyone. There number is (888) 823-0042 and their website is www.rxsolution.net
Hope this helps!
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