Question for anyone else on Flovent

petra_gwFebruary 8, 2013

Have been on Flovent (for asthma, 110 twice daily) for going on 2 years and though it perfectly controls asthma symptoms to where I rarely need my rescue inhaler, my blood sugar and blood pressure are creeping up quite a bit. The allergist who prescribed it says there is no way Flovent can be the cause and as I am in perimeno which causes weird stuff anyway, I don't want to be too hasty to blame the med. So I wanted to ask if anyone else here who takes approx. the same daily dose has experienced side effects.

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Don't listen to them. I complained and complained about certain things on medications, and if they're new enough, not enough reporting has happened, they won't admit it is a side effect. This past year, they "officially" announced my asthma medicine caused mild depression and sleep disruptions. The only one they still haven't officially claimed is the weight gain I have had with it. This warning was not on it years ago, and now it is.

"Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (such as agitation, aggression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, abnormal dreams, sleep-walking, depression, hallucinations, thoughts of harming yourself/suicide), numbness/tingling/shooting pain in the arms or legs, muscle weakness."

They tried to tell me it was "typical depression", both situtational and chemical imbalance, and that the lack of sleeping was a symptom of the depression. But I'd never been depressed before in my life?! And now that I am not taking it, not any more.

My point? Until enough people complain and report the effects, it won't be in the PDR. Once they do, it'll show up. Until then, it's not all in your head. I do see that flovent has the possibility of affecting blood pressure (albeit making the pressure low), so I wouldn't hold it past the drug not to also cause high blood pressure. And it has affects on the adrenal gland. Adrenal glands regulate the stress response. If your body thinks it's in stress mode all the time, I could see your sugar getting off kilter. Listen to your own body, you know what it's supposed to be doing.

Just keep an eye on it, and if you can, keep a journal. Maybe they're right and the pattern can be attributed to something else? A journal could help with that.

I hope this helps! Just my $0.02

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:43PM
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Rob, thanks for that, lots of food for thought. The allergist said it could cause those problems in high doses, but only once you are above 480 mcg or higher per day. He said with 220 per day, he hasn't seen any such side effects. But I suppose that doesn't mean they don't happen. Only problem is, there really is no good alternative to corticosteroids and I have to breathe, so I am between a rock and a hard place. Am going to try to go on a very low sodium diet and increase the smoothies to 2 a day, maybe that will help.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:50PM
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Rob, forgot to ask (and the page won't let me edit the original post) what med you were on and what you switched to. From what you wrote, probably a newer one than Flovent? Flovent has been around for a long time, so there's quite a bit of research according to the doc.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:53PM
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Not Flovent, but I've been on Advair discus 250/50 one puff twice a day for over 10 years. Only side effect for me is bone loss due to the steroids. I NEVER need a rescue inhaler.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 3:00PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I use the Advair also and no side effects and I am diabetic.
I very very rarely have to use my rescue inhaler, during my time with the flu or whatever the heck that was I did have to use my rescue inhaler some to help with breathing and the coughing.

However that being said every person is different and can react differently, so definitely investigate.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 3:33PM
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I just gave up the medication entirely. I was compeltely and utterly stable on one medicaiton-Symbicort (which, by the way, I LOVE!). I'd taken Advair and another inhaler, but was supporting it with Sigulair. Only 20% of the population has good success with Singulair, which it worked for me, but little did I know it was truly the cause of my two problems. Which brings me to my next thought...

"allergist said it could cause those problems in high doses, but only once you are above 480 mcg or higher per day."

That's all fine and good if you're "typical", but if your genetic makeup means you metabolize it at different rate (high metabolizer) you could be getting a dose that is not right for your body makeup. They could be very wrong. But only genetic testing could quantify that.

Ask them if it makes sense to try something else or a lower dose for a week or two. My docs will let me do that. It's how we found out I only needed one med even though I'd been on two for years. I wanted to get off of it all. One is the least I can get by with though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Short and incomplete description of high metabolizer

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 3:39PM
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Chisue, does the 250 stand for mcg? If so, you are taking 500 daily? What do you do for the bone loss? I thought it took many, many years for bone loss to occur.

Raven, just looked up Advair and it lists blood sugar fluctuations as a possible side effect. Maybe already being on diabetes meds would keep it from increasing blood glucose.

Rob, that genetic info is so interesting. Makes perfect sense, but so much medical treatment is one-size-fits-all and does not even take weight or gender into account, let alone anything more complicated. Re. singulair, have heard lots of bad stuff about it. The allergist said it's fine for allergies, but not for asthma. I can't take Symbicort or other combi meds with long-acting agonists cause I had a bad reaction to serevent. So recommendation was to just use a corticosteroid and, if needed, albuterol. The Flovent does work very well, my albuterol mostly just sits around.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 4:20PM
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I have been on Flovent for 15 years. It will cause absolutely no problems with blood sugar or blood pressure. At least it hasn't for me. However, injected steroids can. But not inhaled. I would look for some other cause for a rise in those numbers.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 4:54PM
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Sleeper, that is good to read! Are you on a similar daily dose?
I expected my labs and BP to be really great because we bought a vitamix last year and have greatly increased our intake of veggies and fruit. Plus, have cut out meat and only eat fish from time to time. Never drink soda, I even cut out coffee and drink green tea and have also increased activity. So if it's not the flovent, I think either perimeno or bad genes cause my numbers were way better before trying to get healthier.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 5:13PM
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It's hard to 'blame' Advair alone. I became asthmatic in my mid-thirties -- stress from my mother's three year illness, eventual leukemia, eventual death. There was no Advair then. My asthmatic episodes were dealt with by oral Prednisone and albuterol. I had some luck with nebulizers, sometimes.

I've had two hip replacements, need for which were put down to bone deterioration from steroids. (For all I know, it was ten years of ballet! LOL)

I can't take the usual bone stuff. I've had a staghorn calculus removed and have passed three stones.

I'm past 70 and now labeled COPD, but I've felt a lot worse than this! My BP is rising a bit over the last year -- still not on meds for that.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 7:15PM
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Petra, I'm on the 220 mcg inhaler and I started with 4 puffs a day but I weaned myself down to just 1 puff in the evening. But I can really tell if I forget to do it, so I still need it. I exercise intensely, and run when weather permits and I never get weezy. I think flovent is the best drug in the world, at least for me. When I was a teen and in my early twenties I had some really scary asthma attacks where I thought I was going to die, so to not have that happen and to be able to live life fully is wonderful.

It sounds like you are doing everything right. I also just started juicing and drinking green tea. I try to drink 2 cups in the morning and two at night.

Maybe the only suggestion would be to exercise if you are not already? Walking is a great stress reliever and can help with blood sugar/pressure issues. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 7:33PM
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Chisue, could have been the prednisone if you had to take it often. I know that stuff can do a number on you. I've only had to be on it once and that was enough. But you are doing very well for past 70, we have several clients a bit younger than that who are on lots of different meds.

Sleeper, sounds like you are really fit. I've increased exercise, but probably still not as much as I should be doing. Also still have about 15 pounds to shed, I suppose it could be due to that as well. We'll see once the weight has decreased more.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 7:50PM
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I have been on Dulera for the past couple of years and it works very well.....much better than Advair.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 8:59PM
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