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What medication can help improve symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

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Medications for COPD can help improve your lung capacity, ease inflammation, relax muscles in your airways, and improve your breathing. They include:

  • Bronchodilators that you breathe in through an inhaler. These come in short- and long-acting forms. Some stop the muscles in your airways from tightening up (anticholinergics). Others relax muscles that are already tight (beta agonists).
  • Anti-inflammatory meds or corticosteroids (or steroids) are often inhaled COPD drugs. But if your symptoms are getting worse, you may take pills for a short time.
  • Antibiotics to fight infections that cause symptom flare-ups.
  • Vaccinations against the flu or pneumonia.
  • Roflumilast (Daliresp). It's the first of a new class of COPD drugs called phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors that ease flares for people at the severe stage.

SOURCES:

Albert Rizzo, MD, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine, Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, DE.                                                                    

American Lung Association: “COPD: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment,” “COPD Treatment Options,” “Managing Your COPD Medications,” “Palliative Care and COPD.”

Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease: “Pocket Guide to COPD Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is COPD?” “How Is COPD Treated?”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on June 16, 2017

SOURCES:

Albert Rizzo, MD, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine, Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, DE.                                                                    

American Lung Association: “COPD: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment,” “COPD Treatment Options,” “Managing Your COPD Medications,” “Palliative Care and COPD.”

Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease: “Pocket Guide to COPD Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is COPD?” “How Is COPD Treated?”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on June 16, 2017

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What are some other treatments that can help symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

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