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"1.5m asthma sufferers 'at risk from over-the-counter drugs'"
By Celia Hall, Medical Editor
(Filed: 20/02/2004)


Family doctors were told yesterday to give clear advice to people with asthma after researchers found that taking aspirin could bring on an attack in as many at 1.5 million people.

They have discovered that 21 per cent of adults and five per cent of children with asthma are sensitive to aspirin. Of these 98 per cent are also at risk of an attack if they take another common painkiller, ibuprofen, 93 per cent are sensitive to diclofenac and 100 per cent to naproxen both used to treat rheumatic pain.

Patients are being advised not only to avoid aspirin but any other painkillers and cold cures that contain the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. People who are sensitive can expect an asthmatic attack to develop within 30 minutes to three hours after taking aspirin.

Dr John Costello, the clinical director of medicine at King's College Hospital, London, and colleagues say today in the British Medical Journal, that asthmatic patients should instead use paracetamol, which produced sensitivity in only seven per cent.

They call for warnings on packets of aspirin and other over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs "alerting asthmatic patients to the potential risks".

Dr Costello said: "It is a startlingly higher prevalence than we had thought. This is the first time a broad and in-depth look at all the studies has been undertaken.

"There are dozens of preparations on the market and people should look very carefully at the package information. Asthma can be a very serious condition."

Dr Simon Fradd, the chairman of the Doctor Patient Partnership said: "It is important that family doctors give clear advice to people with asthma about what over-the-counter pain relief drugs they should take."

Dr Fradd added: "Paracetamol should always be recommended as the first choice for pain and fever relief in asthmatics."
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Good advice.

sadly like so many "new" breakthroughs this advice has actually been around for many years - I was told it as a student.
What many people are not aware is that salicylate ( the ingredient in aspirin that is the culprit) is also found in many foods, especially beer and curry (I kid you not).  Aspirin sensitive asthmatics should try and avoid these as well.

Fee  
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Heads Up @ Feb. 20 2004,20:51)]Why not just plug me in to the mains while you're at it? Nurse ....
Yes? ....



Dom
 

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Liberal Lefty
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Blimey

Might do a quick test to see if I'm sensitive.......
 

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Breathlessness - DVT? Breathlessness - DVT? Breathlessness - DVT? Breathlessness - DVT?
Oh b----r flying, I'll just walk.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>All ibuprofen-containing products carry the appropriate warning for asthmatics, but sadly not all aspirin-based products. If you're an asthmatic its always best to ask your pharmacist before buying medicines "over the counter".

If you're not in a pharmacy then check with your GP, as more adverse drug reactions are being notified regularly for asthmatics.

As stated above, paracetamol is the safest OTC painkiller for asthmatics.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Fee @ Feb. 20 2004,19:54)]What many people are not aware is that salicylate ( the ingredient in aspirin that is the culprit) is also found in many foods, especially beer and curry (I kid you not
In case too many people become overly concerned about this, it's worth pointing out that salicylate (salicyclic acid) is a naturally occuring compound which is integral to the defence mechanisms of a wide variety of plants, and was first identified in the bark of willow trees Salix spp. hence it's name.  In fact it had been hypothesized that our species have a natural requirement for salicylate which evolved parallel to our evolution, due to our ancestors consumption of pathogen-stressed plants.
 

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<font color='#000080'>As an asthmatic cleared to dive i know the risks of asprin and ibuprofen products.  Also most over the counter cold preparations cant be taken by an asthmatic as they contain a cough surpressant which isnt a good idea if your lungs produce too much mucus anyway.
Cheap orange juice makes me wheeze, but cigarette smoke is the main culprit though for me.
By the way, if you contact the DDRC regarding advice for broncodilators (spelling?) they send some contradictory advice - you shouldnt take a salbutamol or similar type medication for at least 72 hours pre dive as the side effects of increased heart rate and vaso dilation are not good.  They sent me some sheets saying that "you should take a good puff of inhaler before you dive" which i knew to be wrong.  Apparently it was an old sheet!
 

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You know, I've had asthma for 20 years (had medical and cleared to dive though - I'm sure that's another thread) and I never heard of this until I read that report.  Either I'm not sensitive to them, or I don't notice the effects
 

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My (Dive Cleared I hasten to add) asthma, has never been affected by taking aspirin or ibuprofen. Its affected much more by pollution, anything with sulphur in it, smoking and extreme cold.

Fortunately mine's extremely mild these days, and I've never had any kind of severe attack.
 

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Asthma patients 'live in fear of dying'
By Celia Hall, Medical Editor
(Filed: 04/05/2004)


More than half a million people who suffer from asthma live in fear that their next attack will kill them, according to new research.

A study by the charity Asthma UK says that although the condition has a huge impact on people's lives too many do not receive the right care and treatment.

The survey, to mark World Asthma Day today, says one in six of those who live in fear of dying have at least one attack a week so severe that they cannot speak to ask for help.

Experts say that between 80 and 90 per cent of asthma deaths in Britain are preventable. "More than half of all people with asthma are living on a knife edge, coping from day to day but living in fear and often in isolation," said Donna Covey, the charity's chief executive.

Asthma kills 1,400 people a year in Britain - one death every seven hours. A total of 5.1 million people have asthma, of whom 2.6 million are severely affected.

Last week the European Respiratory Society said that more people suffered from asthma in Britain than anywhere else in Europe. The Global Initiative on Asthma says that British children head the world league table.

The report estimates that around 500,000 people have severe asthma symptoms because current treatments do not effectively manage their condition.

But a much larger number - 2.1 million - are suffering unnecessarily because they are simply not receiving the appropriate care.

Miss Covey said: "It is unacceptable that asthma still kills 1,400 people every year. The Government must do more to ensure that asthma is made a priority."

Asthma UK is launching Asthma Attack Cards to help people deal with their attacks. They include advice on using inhalers and staying calm.

The report is based on responses from 500 people with severe asthma.

Today's World Asthma Day!

US Info on Asthma
 
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