Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Why does Breo seem to work so well for me?

So I started Breo in the spring of 2014.  This was a great time for an experiment, because the summer of 2013 was replete with plenty of bad asthma days. In fact, during that summer I had to make a few unscheduled doctor visits, along with my first ER visit for asthma in over 15 years.  

Amazingly, despite a severe allergy to pollen that caused sniffles and sneezes, this never seemed to evolve into wheezes.  The new medicine seemed to be working great.  I actually did very well all summer long. Surely I still had to carry my friend albuterol along with me in my pocket, but I was able to use it less frequently than the prior summer.  

The great excitement came in the winter of 2015.  Beginning in January I noticed that I wasn't needing my albuterol inhaler as much.  In fact, I realized that, even though I might feel a little tight at times, if I just waited it out I was able to breathe fine in about 15 minutes.  I decided this was the Breo kicking in.  

So I made it from January to April 1, 2015, without taking any puffs of my albuterol inhaler.  One theory stuck in my head.  About every so many years of my life my asthma got worse. It happened in 1981, 1984, 1991, 1998, 2000, and 2014.  

Every one of these times (except 1991) I was switched to a new inhaled corticosteroid: Vanceril in 1981, Azmacort in 1985, Flovent in 1998, Advair in 2003, and Breo in 2014. The result was that my asthma got better for several years.  This is not to say my asthma was ideally controlled, although it was tolerable. 

So, my theory was that my body responds well to inhaled corticosteroids, although develops a tolerance after several years.  Since every new inhaler is stronger than its predecessor, this made Vanceril better than nothing, Azmacort better than Vanceril, Advair better than Azmacort, and Flovent better than Azmacort, and Advair better than Flovent. 

Was my theory right?  The answer to that I figured would come as soon in the Spring when the pollen started to fall from the trees.  

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