As someone with Duchenne, I have to take various medications to manage particular symptoms. Despite needing more medication as I have got older, I still only have a couple of tablets each day, all of which have been prescribed by doctors and consultants. These deal with my heart for the most part but I also take Vitamin D supplements. The heart medication isn’t entirely out of the ordinary but it helps with the everyday working of the heart and its long term health.

The Vitamin D is good for people who are inactive or sit down most of the time, like me, which is why a consultant prescribed it after an x-ray showed I had mild osteoporosis. It may be useful as a Duchenne patient to ask about Vitamin D earlier to see if it would be beneficial. I wasn’t really aware of it until my late teens so it’s something to find out about.

Antibiotics are also an interesting subject in terms of Duchenne patients due to the greater tendency to develop chest infections and pneumonia. Antibiotics are often mentioned in the news and other media, but usually in a negative context to do with their over-use or resistance. For people with weakened respiratory function, however, antibiotic use is more easily justifiable to counter serious bacterial infections that are potentially dangerous. I was once told off by a GP for taking ‘rescue’ antibiotics when I had a very heavy cold and cough, but a respiratory consultant told me otherwise.

That’s not to go completely against medical advice but some men with Duchenne take antibiotics on a regular basis, so I would say trust you own instincts when it comes to chest infections. You and your family will know more about you and your well-being so you can use that as a gauge for when to intervene or get advice. I’m not a doctor though, so don’t take this as gospel.

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