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Using brown asthma inhaler when pregnant

(12 Posts)
Brodicea Sat 28-Sep-13 16:06:54

I have to confess that I have been very remiss about taking my brown inhaler since getting pregnant - I've been vaguely, superstitiously worried that it might cause problems, but totally forgot to ask advice from the midwife. I had gone a few years taking it very rarely (never a really harsh case) but over the last year it had worsened so the Dr told me to start taking it properly. Now since I've stopped again, I've been feeling worse (I cough a lot rather than wheeze) so last night I took it. And then I googled:

NHS website say it's 'not recommended' so I freaked out. Another study listed on the NHS website said that there was a small increased risk of hormonal problems in the baby. Then on the Asthma UK it says you should definitely carry on taking it, and stopping may mean damaging your lungs and starving baby of enough oxygen.

Is anyone out there taking their brown inhaler while pregnant? Have any of you asked the Dr?

CalculatorCalender Sat 28-Sep-13 16:09:37

I have continued to take preventer, reliever and occasional oral steroids and antibiotics for chest infections throughout both my pregnancies - both babies absolutely fine. Far better to take v small doses of an inhaled medication (that mostly stays and works in your lungs and doesn't go to the rest of your body) than become unwell and need strong medication etc. To reduce the amount of inhaled steroid that stays in your system you can always take it just prior to brushing your teeth then rinses and spit out.

Brodicea Sat 28-Sep-13 16:20:35

Thanks calculator I did ask the nurse when we were trying to get pregnant and she said it was fine as the medication stays in your lungs. One balance I do think it's better for the baby if I am able to breathe than to risk minutely some small likelihood of other problems! And it's reassuring to hear your experience. I'll start taking it again I think and just ask the midwife when I see her next.

Brodicea Sat 28-Sep-13 16:22:00

Oh also I use a spacer (like a child!) and do a thorough rinse as I am prone to the delights of oral thrush - nice side effect!

curlywurlyllass Sat 28-Sep-13 16:28:23

I was told its fine to keep using it at my last asthma review.
my breathing has eased since falling pregnant and i now rarely use the brown one and havnt used my blue inhaler for 2 mnths now. But i will use them if the weather changes affect my breathing

why dont u book to see the practice nurse for an asthma review next week for reassurance.

Brodicea Sat 28-Sep-13 16:30:38

Hmm, good idea curly - at least I would know for sure...

juniper9 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:45:14

I have an orange inhaler, but pretty much the same as the brown.

My GP said that, as it's inhaled, the percentage that makes it into my blood stream is very low, and although there is a risk to the baby (like with everything), the risk to me is greater if I stopped taking it.

I counted as high risk due to my asthma. My original hospital had a very low threshold- any admissions ever. I was last admitted 9 years ago, but I still counted as a risk. I swapped hospitals about 6 weeks ago (I'm due tomorrow, incidentally!) and now don't count as high risk.

As a side point, my asthma and my allergies have been far better since I've been pregnant. Lucky as we've moved house and we've been pulling down plaster and painting the gloss etc!

impecuniousmarmoset Sat 28-Sep-13 19:19:25

There are risks to any medication but in the case of asthma, remember that the risks of your uncontrolled asthma to your baby are much greater than the risks of taking the inhaler! I've developed asthma for the first time ever during this pregnancy, was also a bit wary of taking the brown inhaler, but that point convinced me like nothing else. You're comparing a hypothetical, unproven risk (brown inhaler) to an actual, proven danger (poor asthma control leading to lack of oxygen to baby).

bonzo77 Sat 28-Sep-13 19:25:20

I got asthma for the first time in my 3rd pregnancy hmm. I was told categorically by my GP and my obs to use the brown one. Because baby needed the oxygen. The steroids are only absorbed in tiny quantities.

capercaillie Sat 28-Sep-13 19:26:44

It's fine. I had to use in both my pregnancies - usually I don't need to - babies did not have a good effect on my immune system. Better to be able to breathe properly than be low on oxygen (which does seem to put health professionals into a panic as I found out).

I have been told to keep using my inhaler in pregnancy by gp, consultant and midwife. I haven't used the brown one much because I am not keen on using any medicine in pregnancy. That's not based on any rational evidence or advice though. I also have very mild asthma and am not convinced I really need it. If I had asthma attacks then I would probably take it more regularly.

Where did you see it is not recommended on the nhs website?

agendabender Sun 29-Sep-13 19:24:24

I stopped using my brown one when my sickness was bad. It's improving at 24 weeks so I booked a review with the asthma clinic and they said definitely keep taking it, and likened not taking it to the reduction in oxygen experienced by a smoker's baby. I'm sure that's sensationalist, but I see the point.

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