Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Time released meds great for asthma compliance

So asthma used to suck worse than it does today. Of course before 1903 there was no epi, and before the 1950s no inhalers and nebulizers. Yet, in the 1980s there were so many asthma meds that being compliant was a daily battle.

If you want a good example of what I'm writing about, click here. I was on so many meds back in 1985 that I was taking some asthma medicine at least every four hours. While it got better by 1998, I was still taking meds every four hours. Theophylline was every 8 hours, Azmacort was 4 puffs every 4 hours during the day, and plus there were a few others mixed in.

Finally in 1998 Flovent came along. It was a stronger inhaled corticosteroid and was only needed twice a day. That solved the problem of the Azmacort. I actually liked the taste of Azmacort, but there was no way I was going to lug that big thing around with me. So, basically, the only times I took it were when I so happened to be home.

My point here is, that asthmatics today should be very happy. I was a little slow getting on this train, but in 2007 I was finally started on Advair. Actually, I was introduced to Serevent CFC back in 1998, but the side effects were too great. Advair, however, made my life so much easier. That's 2 puffs a day. One puff when you brush your teeth in the morning, and one puff when you brush your teeth in the evening. That's it.

I remember just before I was admitted to the asthma hospital in 1985 my doctor put me on a time delayed theophylline pill -- the first of its kind -- so I only had to take it twice a day. My doctor at the asthma hospital said those time delayed pills were a bad idea, and he put me back on the 300 mg dose every 8 hours.

I guess he was a little behind the times, as it was 25 years later most asthma controller meds are on a time released system. The time released system allows for asthma meds to be taken twice a day and that's it. It's great.

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