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Confused and Frustrated
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dmcjones posted:
My husband has had mild seasonal allergies (spring/fall) for many years. Usually he would have to hunt for his inhaler he used it so infrequently. One year ago he underwent cardiac bypass surgery from which he seems to have recovered. Approximately 2 months after that he developed some type of intestinal bug followed by a chest infection. This is when everything began to go downhill. Whatever occurred seemed to not only kick his allergies into high gear and then asthma but he began coughing and wheezing so bad he passed out, on several occasions.. He was put on a progressive regime of inhalers (adding one at a time) which include atrovent, Symbicort, proventyl, Spiriva, in addition to using a nebulizer and taking singular. As the months progressed so did his asthma attacks and he has been in the hospital many time (3 in May alone).. It has been a viscious cycle of admission, steroid administration, stabilization, discharge and within a week symptoms reappear. He also has home oxygen and gets very short of breath. Again this is all since last fall. His doctors have no explanation for what could have caused such a drastic change. But we are at our wits end. Last year he was playing golf, this year he is sitting in the house. Nothing in our environment has changed. He has seen an allergist and after getting trial approval he received his first dose of xolair. I'm wondering if anyone out there has had anything sudden/similar happen to them. I am also wondering when we might begin to see some benefit from the xolair. The first few days after the injection he seemed to have no wheezing or coughing. He was fairly short of breath though. He was also being weaned from prednisone and had had a course of methotrexate. It is not quite a week and he is starting to cough and wheeze again. I would be anxious to hear from others what their response to that drug was and how long it took to really begin to work. My husband has pretty much been told that if this doesn't work there isn't much more that can be offered. Help!
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atti_editor responded:
Hi dmcjones,

While you wait for other community members to hopefully chime in with some personal experiences, you may find it helpful to look though reviews of Xolair from other WebMD users in the Drugs & Medications Center found here . Please keep us updated on how your husband is doing!

Best wishes,
Atti
 
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deluxehd responded:
Hello dmcjones, I am sorry to hear of your husband's health issues. I am not a medical professional and this is my personal thought and opinion. I would research and ask your allergist about latex allergy. People can develop this allergy at any time in there life. Sometimes surgery can bring it on. It is mostly diagnosed by health history. There are some tests but not all are reliable. Latex can be in about 40,000 household items. Maybe keeping a diary of symptoms, when occurred, what he was eating or around, etc.
Good luck in getting this figured out.
 
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amcate responded:
I had mild intermittent asthma in my mid twenties. Don't know how much you know of asthma, so I'll be explicit....it means it wasn't bad, just some mid level inhaled corticosteroid every day and albuterol on occasion. Then, in my late twenties, it got much worse, they had to increase the controller drugs (those I take every day to prevent symptoms), yet still I had to take at least 20mg of prednisone a day, much too high long term for a 28 year old. No matter what they did, they couldn't keep me breathing on anything less.

So, I asked around, and used my judgment that said, "well, I live in the fifth polluted area of the country, we have industrial accidents, etc." I asked the allergist about moving, but they said it wouldn't help. I tracked the ozone reading from my area (which were available on the internet) with the asthma symptoms, and found that as ozone went up, so did the asthma symptoms, and when ozone went down, so did the asthma symptoms. I found that half of the attacks were when I was in the car, especially if there were diesel trucks around. So, using this objective information, I decided the allergist was wrong and moved to a small town. Within one month, my peak flow increased by 20%, leading support to the idea that pollution was a major trigger.

I would probably track when your husband has symptoms, what is around him when he does, etc to try to identify triggers and then remove triggers where possible. The doctors can give information about what the common triggers are, but you and your husband are at an advantage in identifying his specific triggers since you are around him and he is around himself and his environment much more than the doctors.

Common triggers are cold air, strong smells, allergies, pollution, infections, emotional upset, pollution, diet. There are probably others I don't recall right now.

I refused Xolair, so can't be of much help there.
 
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amcate replied to deluxehd's response:
I'm sorry, deluxehd. I just saw your entry after I posted mine. We're basically saying the same thing.
 
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cwille responded:
hi, just a little bit about myself first , i am 47 and have had severe cough variant asthma for 5 years , i am on pulmicort plus atrovent and liquid lidocaine for my cough 2-3 times a day, as of today i am on 20 mg of prednison and a new puffer called aerospan , 3 puffs twice a day, and when i have a bad coughing attack i have to take a teaspoon of morphine, now i have tried all the meds you listed and have had no luck with them, i am in the hospital a lot ,6 times already this year usually for 5-7 days at a time. I have tried xolair but ended up having a reaction to it, the first first shot was ok, i didn't notice any difference , the next month i ended up having an attack after the shot, so we stopped taking them. Since than i have tried just about everything, i just did the bronchial thermoplasty, which didn't work for me. Like your husband my docs can't explain it either, they have sent me to clinics all over the country, the best one is the national jewish clinic in denver. I was on methotextrate for about a year, and that didn't help either, Maybe it's the enviroment ? I live in florida so the pollen and everything in the air does effect me ,that i do know i did a allergy test. Oh , also the one thing i did was got rid of all the carpet in my house, and i changed my air conditioner , my old one had mold in it. I have central air, You don't have to change your ac, but you should have it checked, there is lights that you can put in the ac unit that kills any mold that makes it way in it. Its a sad thing when you have to change your whole house around ,but if it is going to help than it's worth it. Also your blankets on your bed and your furniture , i have gone to leather, ok maybe fake leather lol furniture, and i have hypoallerginc stuff for my bed and laundry detergent, I know you are probably saying, if it didn't work why are you telling me, lol, i actually was just thinking of these things while i was typing i really hope they help your husband, asthma is not a fun thing eespecially when you can't figure out what is causing it. Good luck and god bless.
 
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dmcjones replied to cwille's response:
Thanks to all your responses. My husband is still struggling. He has gotten 2 xolair injections and seems to feel the response initially because his nose and throat dry up from all the "snot" but then within a day or two its back to usual. We have tried just about everything to change what we can. You all have listed good suggestions. The summer and heat and humidity have not helped but the cooler weather with clean wind blowing he seems to do better with. The strange thing is we have no idea what to expect from xolair. I guess everyone responds differently if at all, but how long will it take to know if it makes a difference. Not sure if I mentioned that my husbands IGe level was over 1200 earlier in the year which made him not the ideal candidate for xolair. I'm wondering if anyone has had any luck with vitamin/mineral supplements. He is taking D3, C and multivitamins.
 
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amcate replied to dmcjones's response:
My allergist said that omega 3 and antioxidants should help since they have anti inflammatory effects. However, I normally get them through diet and not through supplements.

Sorry, I can't help you with your other questions since I don't know. Asthma is tough, and sometimes you do everything right, but it just doesn't always happen the way you would like....there's just not enough known about the disease.


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