Managing Your COPD Medications
There are different medications to help manage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Some treatment methods are directed at keeping the airways as open as possible, helping to relax the muscle, decreasing inflammation and making breathing easier for patients.
However, personalisation is key to achieving a better result as no one way is the best method for treating COPD for all people. You should devise the best plan that best suit your symptoms and this involves finding the best medicine to take at the right time to ensure smoother breathing and reduced Flare-ups.
Managing COPD requires the consumption of different medications daily and this can be confusing as some COPD medicine can be swallowed as pills or tablets, or inhaled using prescribed inhalers. To know the best treatment method for you, pay a visit to your healthcare team.
Types of Medication prescribed for COPD
Bronchodilator: This medication helps to relax the muscles in the airway, keeping it as open as possible so as to make breathing easier. In most cases, bronchodilators are delivered through an inhaler, to ensure you breathe the medicine directly into the lungs. You should note that inhalers work in different ways, so you should ask your healthcare team to know how best to use yours in order to get the best of it.
Bronchodilators are of two types: short-acting bronchodilators which provide immediate relief from symptoms, usually within a minute, and long-acting bronchodilators which provide a lasting relief with effect coming slower. Both bronchodilators include beta2-agonists and anticholinergics.
Anti-inflammatory: These medications are also known as steroids and they are usually inhaled via an inhaler device. It helps to decrease inflammation, leading to less swelling and mucus production in the airways which makes breathing easier.
Coming with some serious side effects like weight gain, cataracts, and diabetes; steroids are used in short period of times in situations where your symptoms become more severe.
Combination Medicine: Sometimes, to have a better effect, a corticosteroid, an anticholinergic and a beta-agonist can be combined into an inhaling device. The most common combination is usually the combination of two of these medicines as:
- Short-acting beta-agonist and short-acting anticholinergic
- Long-acting beta-agonist and corticosteroid
- Long-acting anticholinergic and corticosteroid
Antibiotics: Due to bacterial or viral infections, people with COPD often experience flare-ups, more mucus, and more breath loss. In situations like this, you doctor might give you an antibiotic or anti-viral prescription to keep infections in check. Make sure all medications are taken as prescribed.
Vaccinations: People with COPD has a higher risk of infection with influenza and pneumonia. Vaccines are available to protect you against the flu and you should make sure to get immunized each year. By doing this, you improve your immune system as the influenza virus changes slightly every year.
The Pneumococcal pneumonia is a bacterial infection which affects the lungs after a flu infection. There are two vaccines to protect against this infection. You only need to get vaccinated once but it’s necessary to get each one. Your doctor can provide more information about these.