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Nov 18, 2011 - 7 comments

Hi ladies, I have a question for you all and I'm not sure if anyone is in the situation or not but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

About 13 years ago I started to have asthma attacks, they stop after 6 months and I haven't had one attack since then.  The only thing I have been left with is a chronic cough.  I went to a pulmonary specialist in 2006 and he told me I have cough variant asthma.  I have been taking on and off since then the usual asthma medicines.  About 6 months ago I stopped everything.  I never had any relief from any of the meds and I figured at this point it wouldn't make a difference and it didn't.

About two months ago I decided to go to another pulmonary dr for another opinion.  I couldn't imagine having to go through the rest of my life with this annoying cough.  Well on Tuesday I went to the new dr who is younger, really listened to me and took notes while I was talking.  She said there are 3 main causes of a cough.  One is asthma, post nasal drip and acid reflux.  I told her I don't have any symptoms of acid reflux which she told me it can be silent reflux.  So she said because of the twins, I could be experiencing more now.  Anyway - she said she wanted to treat all three and since I was in my first trimester this is all she could for now.  

First, the coughing will not hurt the babies right now.  Her concern is later on as the twins gain weight, the coughing, will push them towards my cervix and cause a possible premature labor.  So she wants to take care of the cough now before then.  

This is what she suggested - use a neubulizer with albulterol 4 times a day, zrtec at night and tums 4 times a day.  She then says you should have no cough in about a week.  I have a hard time believing this because if this cough actually went away finally, I would have to erect a statue of this dr in Central Park! So she says to me this is all safe to use during the first trimester and to go ahead and check with my dr if I feel better.  If he doesn't agree, we can adjust this.  

So yesterday I called the RE - got the nurse gave her all the info and she said I'll check with the dr and call you back.  So she does and says that the zrtec is fine.  The tums should be taken 2 hours after medications because it can interfere with the other meds.  The albuterol is generally not safe but because you are asthmatic you have no choice.  So I try to explain to her I haven't had an attack in over 10 years, explaining everything but she said well the dr. says you can take it because you have to.  UGH.  So I really didn't know what to think at that point.  

I decide to call my obgyn office and ask them as well.  The nurse says at first - I don't think you should use the zrtec during the first trimester.  Then she says who is prescribing this to you??  I said my pulmonary dr. - so she says oh then if she says its ok, its ok.  Really???

What the heck?? I feel like I didn't get conclusive answers.  I know the albuterol is a class C drug.  I am not sure what to do.  I mean I can suffer with the dam cough like I have been at this point.  

What would you ladies do??

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1351078 tn?1416313146
by retta483, Nov 18, 2011
I havent had a attack in years thank god but when im preg it tends to sneek up on me . Id ask the pharmisist sp? what they think . im sure the zrtec is ok its just like a allergy pill right ? and tums seriously do not work for reflex Id use pepcid I love that stuff I have a rx strength but they do have a otc . and the nebulizer shouldent hurt u my dh had a lung infection and it cleared it right up . Im sorry I dont have better advice I hope you feel better soon xx Loretta

1462588 tn?1345061795
by TAGLAS, Nov 18, 2011
I agree with Retta. I would speak to a pharmacist. Hopefully your pharmacist can explain in detail the possible side effects for you and babies. Your pharmacist could also discuss the  the anatagonist effect w/  any other meds you've been prescribed.

Hope this helps :)

922048 tn?1387942584
by Sherri90049, Nov 18, 2011
Definitely don't take Tums near any meds or even any supplements (esp. iron). As far as the nebulizer with Albuterol, like your nurse said, it's just one of those meds that they'd rather have you not take, but if you need it, you need it. And you do. Have you ever tried the decongestant Mucinex? I'm not sure if it's safe in pregnancy or not, but if the cause of your cough is post-nasal drip, it might help that. I'm glad the Zyrtec is ok, because it always worked pretty well for me.

1169162 tn?1331232353
by nola0805, Nov 18, 2011
I wonder why she wants to treat all 3 possibilities at the same time?  Even if your cough gets better, you will not be sure of the exact cause and may end up taking 2 treatments you don't need.  Here is what I would do - I would first ask my ob and RE about the risk of a chronic cough in pregnancy.  If there really is a risk of premature labor from the coughing then you know that you may need to consider treating the cough now; otherwise I would totally wait until after you deliver.

If you decide to treat, I would talk to the doctor about trying one treatment at a time, starting with the mildest (the tums).  However, if the cough is from silent reflux, you may need more than tums (my dad had this exact issue and he responded great to prevacid).  In the meantime, you can do more research about the other treatments.

Good luck.

803938 tn?1403748253
by Ecologic, Nov 18, 2011
I am severely asthmatic and had terrible asthma attacks for days when pregnant in winter - it was really bad (I am always worst in winter, not sure why). I take Prednisone when I have severe attacks but my OB-Gyn was really against it so I did not take it. Albuterol is totally inefficient for me, I have tried it several times in the past: it does nothing and increases my heart rate really fast. Instead I tried Symbicort - with my OB-Gyn's blessing and it helped - though not a miracle cure.

I would not worry too much about the cough. If I were you, I would not take the Zyrtec and Tums (probably inefficient, I have personally tried Zyrtec and Prevacid with no success), and I would discuss any medical treatment with my OB-gyn before trying anything. Have you tried Symbicort or Advair (I had tried Advair in the past with no success)? I also did saline nasal wash twice a day all winter.

1386655 tn?1452097056
by journey2motherhood, Nov 21, 2011
Thank you all so much ladies.  I've been so sick all weekend I didn't get a chance to respond.  I've decided I'm going to wait and hold off on any meds right now.  I will be seeing my ob/gyn soon and I'll talk to her in person.  It's just taken me so long to get here, I'm nervous about everything.  

I'll keep you updated when I talk to my Dr.! Thank you again!

Avatar universal
by THEBLACK, Apr 13, 2017
was on dulera for a year got a sharp pain in my heart went for a stress test and they said i had abnormal heart rhythm.never did before .They put me on advair about six months later another pain in my heart that lasted longer this time so now i am going to see a cardiologist my doctor seems to think its something else.I just havent felt right since i been taking these medications i get Muscle spasms and my bones snap and crack when i move  more than ever now.But at least my asthma is under control.

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