There has been an unhelpful and misleading message being widely spread on social media advising people with respiratory conditions including asthma and COPD to seek “rescue medication” from their GP.
Please DO NOT ask your GP for ‘rescue medication’ if you don’t usually have standby medication for your respiratory condition. The original post was taken down. It was posted in good faith but is potentially dangerous and is certainly unhelpful.
British Lung Foundation’s response
“We’ve been made aware of some posts on social media saying that if you have a lung condition, your GP will issue a rescue pack of steroids and antibiotics.
If you’re normally advised to have a rescue pack available to treat your lung condition then it’s a good idea to check you have one. This is recommended for some with COPD to be used as part of a personalised plan. For people with asthma, we do not recommend these as standard.
If someone’s asthma is bad enough to consider steroids it is essential they are assessed by a health care professional. Even at this busy time for the NHS, getting early support for any problems with your lungs is critical to keep you well and out of hospital.”
Along similar lines, please do not stockpile inhalers. If you haven’t needed one for many years don’t ask for one now. We are seeing increasing supply issues due to over-ordering. Please be patient with your community pharmacist, they are doing the best they can in difficult circumstances.
Thanks for your help with this,
Littlewick Medical Centre.