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Have had some kind of viral cough and sinus thing for about 4 weeks; grim to start with, waking 4 or 5 times as night to take Ventolin as couldn't breathe. Went to GP after 3 weeks, peak flow was 350 and having trouble getting a reading as coughing so much. But GP says 350 is fine as max I've blown with her is 420 (I don't do regular Peak Flow readings, but remember it was about 480 last year when I took it at home at some point). Also says no chest infection so no antibiotics, which is fine, but wrote a prescription for prednisolone. Can't see why I would take that though if my peak flow is fine in her view?
Just wondering if anyone else has had experience of this? I felt pretty sh*t while there as couldn't breathe properly and I have been so tired for weeks; but then I also felt pretty sh*t afterwards as GP seemed to imply that I was making a fuss and 350 PF is fine. So then why the oral steroids?
I'm not coughing as much currently as long as I don't laugh, talk too much or go out into cold air! If I do any of those things I sound like I smoke 40 day, massive wheezy hacking cough. Should I take these steroid tablets or not? I'm not that keen on taking medicines if I can do without.
You dont don't have an infection but your lungs are under strain. The steroid help your lung to work to the optimum they can and stop infections. If you don't take them your lungs can struggle and eventually can proced into a chest infection. After I had my ds I was given steroid as I was run down. I didn't think I needed them. Long story short i ended up with pluracy. Horrific. I would take them just to be safe.
I eventually had some tests done to prove I'm not actually asthmatic, but for several years had enormous problems with post-viral cough. The advice I got when we sorted it out was that if it did recur it was entirely appropriate to use oral steroids briefly to bring it under control.
So take the pred, don't worry at this point about whether or not your cough is asthma, see if you can get yourself better one way or another.
Thanks very much all, looks unanimous. I've never had an asthma attack as such and no, I've never taken oral steroids before though kids have needed them from time to time , also for asthma. Looks like I'm being a bit stupid not to take them myself now though, so will call into chemist's tomorrow.
Steroids reduce inflammation. So yes absolutely do take them!
A short dose of steroids will do you no harm whatsoever. It’s only taking them at a high dose on a regular basis very long term that they can cause issues - and I mean years, not months. My mum takes pred daily for controlling Crohn’s disease. She has taken them for nearly 30 years with no issues at all and they have given her such quality of life - since taking them she hasn’t needed any surgeries at all whereas before she was on average needing one a year. (She is now 70).
I have Addison’s disease which means I need to take daily steroids for the rest of my life as I don’t make any cortisol naturally and I think they are amazing things.
Shinybothways, GP said peak flow was fine at 350 and no chest infection so I was thinking then there's nothing particularly serious going on, and I was probably just being a bit of a drama queen about a virus. Which is why I wondered why GP did the prescription for steroids, it's not like they would cure a viral infection. But what posters say here makes sense, it would be to reduce inflammation rather than impact on any infection itself. Thanks Fairylea, that's really helpful to know. Very sorry to hear about the Crohn's and Addision's, that must be tough. Glad that there are treatments that can help you and your mum. X
I have been told my peak flow is fine and I didn't have an infection and then ended up in hospital for a week really ill and several weeks to recover. I'm struggling at the moment keeping my peak flow up to 350 (normal 450) after four days of antibiotics and steroids. Take the drugs and keep a close eye on your peak flow and go back if it doesn't start improving. Not everyone responds in the same way and if you are breathless and needing ventolin throughout the night, you clearly are in distress.