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What are short-acting and long-acting bronchodilators, and how do they work to treat emphysema?

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Short-acting bronchodilators work faster but don’t last as long. Long-acting ones don’t work as fast but last longer. If your emphysema symptoms are mild, your doctor may recommend you take short-acting bronchodilators during flare-ups. As your symptoms worsen, you may need daily doses of long-acting bronchodilators.

If you have advanced emphysema, your doctor may prescribe a long-acting inhaled bronchodilator. They’re used on a regular schedule to open your airways and keep them open.

From: What Are the Treatments for Emphysema? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Tammy Wichman, MD, associate professor, pulmonary critical care, University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Yasufuku, K., , Elsevier, 2016. Innovations in Thoracic Surgery, An Issue of Thoracic Surgery Clinics of North America

Annals of Internal Medicine : “In the Clinic: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.”

Medical Devices : “Technology update: bronchoscopic thermal vapor ablation for managing severe emphysema.”

International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease : “Role of mucolytics in the management of COPD.”

Thorax : “Targeted lung denervation for moderate to severe COPD: a pilot study.”

American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology: “Beta2-Agonists (Bronchodilators).”

Columbia University: “Emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).”

American Lung Association “Managing Your COPD Medications.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Emphysema.”

Cleveland Clinic Center for Continuing Education: “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.”

University of California San Francisco: “Emphysema Treatments,” “Lung Transplant.”

University of Massachusetts Medical School: “Therapeutic Class Overview Phosphodiesterase (PDE) 4 Inhibitors.”

National Health Service (United Kingdom): “Bronchodilators.”

American Thoracic Society: “Surgery for COPD,” “What is Alpha-1 Antitrypsan Deficiency?” “Oxygen Therapy,” “Medicines Used to Treat COPD.”

Reviewed by Paul Boyce on March 14, 2019

SOURCES:

Tammy Wichman, MD, associate professor, pulmonary critical care, University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Yasufuku, K., , Elsevier, 2016. Innovations in Thoracic Surgery, An Issue of Thoracic Surgery Clinics of North America

Annals of Internal Medicine : “In the Clinic: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.”

Medical Devices : “Technology update: bronchoscopic thermal vapor ablation for managing severe emphysema.”

International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease : “Role of mucolytics in the management of COPD.”

Thorax : “Targeted lung denervation for moderate to severe COPD: a pilot study.”

American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology: “Beta2-Agonists (Bronchodilators).”

Columbia University: “Emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).”

American Lung Association “Managing Your COPD Medications.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Emphysema.”

Cleveland Clinic Center for Continuing Education: “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.”

University of California San Francisco: “Emphysema Treatments,” “Lung Transplant.”

University of Massachusetts Medical School: “Therapeutic Class Overview Phosphodiesterase (PDE) 4 Inhibitors.”

National Health Service (United Kingdom): “Bronchodilators.”

American Thoracic Society: “Surgery for COPD,” “What is Alpha-1 Antitrypsan Deficiency?” “Oxygen Therapy,” “Medicines Used to Treat COPD.”

Reviewed by Paul Boyce on March 14, 2019

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What are beta-agonist bronchodilators, and how do they work to treat emphysema?

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