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How 'serious' are steroids as a treatment for asthma?

(39 Posts)
Katymac Tue 27-Sep-16 16:14:48

DD has just found out she is allergic to dogs; she has been given 5 days of oral steroids and antihistamines as it has triggered an asthma attack

I have suggested that she can't live with dogs at her rented flat (the dogs belong to other people) but DD thinks I am making a massive fuss

How serious is having steroids - is it 'just on of those things' or is it fairly serious like what I think

PinkSwimGoggles Tue 27-Sep-16 16:19:49

steroids for asthma are quite safe and actually essential for her.
best would be to remove the allergen (i.e. the dog) from her environment.
it could be that she would need steroids anyway...

so both of you are right, but your advice would be better for her in the long term

SixtiesChildOfWildBlueSkies Tue 27-Sep-16 16:20:29

Surely if she is allergic to the dogs she will continue to react to them, hence possibly continuing to need the steroids?

As for how serious they are, well, docs don't hand them out lightly as they have many and varied effects. When I was first given them they made me manically happy and crazily hungry whilst taking them, but the comedown when the course was finished was hard to deal with.
Then it switched and they began to make me really miserable, and the climb out of the pit afterwards got harder and harder.

I finally refused to take any more and have managed my health in other ways. I would definitely say they are a serious medication, and you are quite rightly not making a fuss.

PinkSwimGoggles Tue 27-Sep-16 16:21:12

many many asthmatics take steroids long term. they are literally life saving.
you don't fuck about with lungs!

IrianOfW Tue 27-Sep-16 16:21:43

I don;t know how you define 'serious'. I am on steroid inhalers and have been since I was a teenager - prior to that I was athsmatic but just had an inhaler to deal with attacks rather than tackle it proactively.

I still react to certain triggers but because of the steroids it doesn't result in athsma - just itchy eyes and sneezing. I resort to antihistamines from time to time.

I wouldn't be without them - IME most athsmatics use them regularly. Excluding the triggers from your life only works when you have total and constant control over your environment - which you generally don't.

Katymac Tue 27-Sep-16 16:27:26

She has viral asthma anyway & takes seretide and montelucast daily

She has had the prednisilone when she has had chest infections - I was shocked at the idea of it for an allergy

It was discussed that it might be exercise induced asthma or the dog allergy but that it would be unusual for exercise induced asthma to turn up at 18

I feel all conflicted

PinkSwimGoggles Tue 27-Sep-16 16:29:19

asthma and allergies change all the time.

misspym Tue 27-Sep-16 16:30:08

I'm not sure how to define 'serious' either but my 10 yr old dd has taken steroids many, many times. Mostly for asthma but also for allergic reactions.

I also know several people who don't have a history of allergy or asthma like my dd but who have been prescribed steroids as a treatment for an allergic reaction to insect bites.

insan1tyscartching Tue 27-Sep-16 16:31:15

It might well be that the antihistamines will keep the dog allergy in check later on. Dd is allergic to dogs but she's not allergic to our dog anymore. She took antihistamines for the first month or so and hasn't needed them since. She still reacts badly though to other people's dogs.

Katymac Tue 27-Sep-16 17:11:26

I just don't know how much fuss to make

Does she need allergy testing?
Does she not live with the dogs?

Ineededtonamechange Tue 27-Sep-16 17:31:45

How old is she?

If she is old enough to be in a rental flat on her own, I presume she is an adult - and therefore it is her decision?

She may love dogs? She may not want to end her rental/not be able to end it early.

I'd see how it goes and let her make an adult decision....

PinkSwimGoggles Tue 27-Sep-16 17:33:07

well, ideally she would eliminate allergens from her living environment.
but she's an adult and needs to make decisions herself now.
can take the horse to water and all that...

Shallishanti Tue 27-Sep-16 17:39:18

you need to differentiate oral and inhaled steroids
oral steroids, very high dose to relieve symptoms in short term, affect the whole body
inhaled steroids, low dose targeted where needed (lungs) to prevent symptoms

she would not have been given oral steroids unless her symptoms were serious, as PP said, you don't mess around with lungs

she should ask for an appointment with the asthma nurse at her surgery who will explain all of this

Katymac Tue 27-Sep-16 17:54:23

She left home for college 2 yrs ago (at 16) the contract with the landlady is in my name still

She doesn't love dogs but she loves her landlady - her co-tenant has the dogs but they are the landlady's extended family

She has missed 2 days of college so far & may miss a further 2 or 3 - which is OK as a one off but if it is the dogs and it happens again it will affect her course

Wolpertinger Tue 27-Sep-16 17:54:30

Oral steroids are fantastic for asthma but not repeatedly over and over again - it has a serious impact your your health (not least because the fact you have to do it means your asthma has never been controlled properly) for example immunity, weight gain and osteoporosis.

The aim is to control the asthma with regular preventer inhalers and avoiding triggers if possible so attacks requiring oral steroids are rare.

If living with dogs is going to fuck up her lungs, taking courses of steroids over and over is not the answer - the dogs have to go.

And asthma changes all the time - mine was diagnosed when I was over 30 but probably was there mildly from childhood. And new allergies turn up too - I used to be a keen horserider but my lungs don't care for horses any more so the horseriding had to go sad

However she is an adult - she needs to see the asthma nurse at her GP surgery and discuss this herself. If she wants to stay around dogs it's her decision but her lungs won't be happy and she'll have more attacks/need more meds. Her choice.

Katymac Tue 27-Sep-16 18:04:48

Wolpertinger that's what I think (I think)

DD is a bit confused by it all as her asthma has only ever been a problem when she was already ill iyswim & doesn't want to miss college or leave her landlady

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Tue 27-Sep-16 18:08:21

She doesn't want to be on pred long term. It's best as a short term intense course to dampen down inflammation. They are quite 'heavy' drugs and are to be avoided long term as they have a number of very unpleasant side effects (weight gain, insulin resistance, calcium depletion etc.)
. The inhaled 'controller' corticosteroids are different - they are targeted to the lung only and have far fewer side effects. The reason oral steroids are given is they work fast (it's called a steroid 'burst') whereas the inhaled ones can take a few weeks to kick in.

If she's has an attack serious enough to warrant oral steroids it is really important she gains proper control over her asthma. She'll need a preventer inhaler/treatment and a reliever.
I personally react badly to inhaled steroids so have used monteleukast but my asthma is generally mild. She needs to attend the asthma clinic/nurse and get her meds sorted. And avoid triggers, which unfortunately means the dogs

Katymac Tue 27-Sep-16 18:52:56

She hasn't had any pred for about 2 years since an awful chest infection

& there is no guarantee it IS a dog allergy - if it definitely was then it would be cut & dried

Mind you exercise induced asthma would be a nightmare for her

hazeyjane Tue 27-Sep-16 18:57:34

Could she get allergy testing to see if it is definitely the dogs?

MaddyHatter Tue 27-Sep-16 19:02:31

How long have the dogs been there?

It may be if they're a new addition, that they just need to be more meticulous about cleaning the pet hair, its probably a dander problem.. i have one of those dysons designed for pet hair to keep the cat dander under control here.

It could be a temporary problem, my asthma got worse for 3-4 months after i got the cats then settled down.

My advice would be to take anti-histamines and review her inhalers and asthma medication with the GP ASAP.

Katymac Tue 27-Sep-16 19:05:56

Yes the dogs moved in over the summer holidays - DD went back 2 weeks ago yesterday

Katymac Wed 28-Sep-16 12:07:01

Hopefully organising emergency allergy testing

WillWorkForShoes Wed 28-Sep-16 21:29:01

I have exercise induced asthma which started when I was 39 and began the Couch 2 5K programme (I had childhood asthma, but I don't know what my triggers were then).

I find the asthma doesn't limit me at all. I take a preventative inhaler and then 15 minutes before I exercise, I take a couple of puffs of salbutamol as a prophylactic measure. I find I can run without any asthma issues.

Katymac Wed 28-Sep-16 22:48:31

That's positive Thanks smile

She does between 30 & 35 hrs of fairly high impact exercise each week so it could be an issue

wfrances Thu 29-Sep-16 18:15:52

dd 19 is allergic to some dogs and is asthmatic - she takes anti histamines and 2 puffs of blue inhaler and is fine.
i have to take steroids for 3 weeks at a time when i have a flare up , because ventolin doesnt touch me , i take fostair ,then if that doesnt work 40mg steroids ,and a mixed nebulizer.
dd has never needed them (touch wood)
ds12 had to have 5 days of steroids last july as his hay fever symptoms were extreme.

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