Inhalers may be prescribed by your doctor to reduce your symptoms of COPD. Be sure to take all medications the way your doctor instructs you. Different medications may be prescribed to manage COPD. Review medications ANNUALLY with your doctor.
Bronchodilators – either short or long-acting form the mainstay of drug therapy for COPD. They help to open up the airways and reduce shortness of breath.
If you only get short of breath occasionally, your doctor may prescribe a short-acting bronchodilator. This will provide quick relief lasting 4-6 hours. These inhalers should be used with a spacer.
If you are breathless daily your doctor may prescribe a bronchodilator which can last 12 -24 hours
There are two types of long-acting bronchodilators, LAMA (long-acting anti-muscarinic) or LABA (long-acting beta agonist). Most people with COPD will benefit from taking both kinds. They may come in separate inhalers or in combination inhalers.
Steroid Inhalers – Some people need to use inhaled steroids as part of their treatment. Steroids reduce inflammation in the airways to help improve breathing in patients. They may reduce the risk of flare-ups. Your doctor will most likely prescribe a combination inhaler, with one or two bronchodilators and a steroid.
Do you know how to use your inhaler?
If you are unsure how to use your inhalers contact Open Airways nurse at [email protected]
Or follow these links for videos on how to use your inhaler:
Antibiotics help fight bacterial infections and may be required in addition to COPD medication during an exacerbation (flare-up).
Oxygen Therapy can help prolong the life of some patients with severe COPD. Oxygen therapy can reduce breathlessness and improve mental function in COPD patients. Oxygen concentrators are available locally from Medical House and Lighthouse Medical and should be covered by all local health insurance policies.
If you are without insurance Open Airways may be able to help, contact [email protected]