Hi - I'm not sure if anyone is still following this post - but - I came off my steroid inhaler in January this year (2011). The main reason being when they stopped making it - (the cfc one). I had tried Clenil modulite as a replacement and it was awful - gave me asthma - and I hated the idea of inhaling ethanol (whatever they say). Doc gave me Qvar 100 instead. But by then I had done a bit of research and decided to try A Vogel's Luffa Complex - part herbal, part homeopathic. That is the name in the Uk - it is called something else in the US and Canada. They are not allowed to advertise it as being for asthma - only allowed to advertise it as being for 'allergies' or hayfever.
Anyway - I was desperate. Had run out of my original steroid inhaler, had a terrible cough post flu, and was trying to manage with just salbutamol but needing it every three hours. So took the Luffa Complex. Within two days I only needed my salbutomal four times a day - within a short period of time I only needed salbutamol twice a day. Brilliant! I took the Luffa Complex for three months and then came off it - as recommended - and I was fine - still on salbutamol only twice a day. I had a cold at one point followed by a cough and had asthma symptoms again, so started the Luffa Complex again (and again it worked quickly) - but only needed it for a week then came off it again and was back to just salbutamol twice a day.
I went through a whole summer (usually my worst time) with no asthma symptoms at all - just the salbutamol twice a day - no sneezing, no wheezing - walked in fields of long grass and so on - brilliant! Heaven.
I can recommend it. However, it has helped me reading these posts, and others, about the effects of withdrawal from the steroid inhaler - I just stopped mine, and now realise in hindsight, that that coincided with the terrible foot pains I have had and been treated by a podiatrist and had to change all my footwear. I had no idea there could be side effects such as joint problems and muscle problems - and tiredness (I blamed it all on my age - being post menopausal) - but everything got worse around that time and now I know why.
So yes - best to wean off steroid inhaler gradually, while using Luffa complex.
I have been fine but had a very stressful couple of months since end of August - and I mean real high level stress - my Father very ill - emergencies, traumas, the lot - worries about him coping at home, upset and unpleasantness from my Mother who isn't coping - dropping everything and travelling to other end of the country at short notice - so I'm talking about extreme empotional stress and exhaustion - and I had an asthma attack shortly after my Dad had a heart attack. And had to start using the Qvar (which I cope with better than the Clenil but I still hate inhaling Ethanol and I feel fed up at being back on a steroid inhaler.
It has been a month and Dad is still not well - but if things settle down a bit I will try (gradually) coming off it again.
So basically - I am amazed and happy that there is something natural that works - and you CAN come off most asthma medication (salbutamol twice a day is very minimal and I reckon if my life was less stressful generally I might have even got off that) - but as asthmatics, there are times of extreme stress and emotion where we might need some drug therapy.
I think there is a big psychological effect to the drugs - a feeling of dependency and fear of coming off them - I just took the blooming steroid inhaler for 20 years without even thinking about coming off it - it kept me controlled and that was that (despite years of problems with candida).
And I would not have believed there was ANY other solution than inhalers - especially as a former nurse and with clinical leanings. And even though I become converted to the benefits of herbal medicines many years ago for other minor ailments. I would not have believed ANYTHING natural could cure or reduce asthma. But Luffa Complex worked for me - I still can't quite believe it but it did and the proof is in the pudding.
Not just that though. I was a chronic asthmatic for most of my adult life, even with the steroid inhaler - I had to stay indoors every summer and still needed a course of oral steroids every summer - and I was allergic to so many things and had to avoid so many things.
First major change was - finding out I had a wheat/gluten problem - ironically it only came about during a stressful relationship break-up when I got so ill I was having massive allergic reactions to everything.
Saw an allergy specialist (after a few useless people) - changed my diet. For a year I excluded all sorts - not easy - and can be obsessive! I was fitter than I have ever been in my life - my asthma virtually disappeared (except I was still on the steroid inhaler) and my eczema disappeared completely. After a year I was able to eat most things - except bread - still don't eat bread. And kept milk to a minimum and avoid yeasty foods (mould was my biggest allergy when tested as a kid) - like cheese and mushrooms.
So there I thought I was 'cured' - and yet I was still dependant on the steroid inhaler - until I found the Luffa Complex.
If you have had skin testing at some stage and been told your main allergies, try applying them to foodstuffs (eg moulds are not just in the air they are in food too).
Although I believe they don't do skin testing these days as it can be dangerous apparently.
So - thank you to those for information about weaning off steroid inhaler. And to anyone who wants to - try Luffa Complex. I had it in tincture originally but then found the tablets easier - you just suck them like homoepathic tablets - 2 or 3 times a day. I did it twice a day for three months - during that three months you could start reducing the steroid inhaler - hopefully the Luffa will meaning when you are off the steroid inhaler completely, you are fine.
I now have to wean off the steroid inhaler again - shucks.
Another thing that can help - avoing flu and colds. I had particularly bad flu last year as many people did - and this can trigger asthma. I don't have the flu jab (too risky for allergics I reckon) but have been using a homeopathic oral 'flu vaccine' or prophylactic. I'm sure it worked the year before last - last year I didn't take it and got flu - started it this year. OTI makes a good one - I can't get hold of it in UK now so use Ainsworths cold and flu remedy. Have never been a fan of homeopathy but with swine flu around I decided to have a go with it and many people swear by it.
Luffa Complex is a bit unique - it is a herbal medicine (combination) but taken in homeopathic form. Have a lot of faith in A Vogel remedies, and particularly after this one.