Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD medications

Photo: nhlbi.nih.gov

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD is a lung condition. It affects the way you breathe. Scientists associate COPD with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. The person suffering from the condition feels out of breath. Patients who suffer from the illness notice no symptoms in the early stage of the disease. Symptoms associated with COPD are difficulty breathing, coughing, and tightness in the chest. Another sign of COPD is wheezing.

COPD result from smoking or toxins in the environment. Patients take COPD medications to ease the shortness of breath, control coughing, and wheezing. Plus, they take the medicines to prevent any flare-ups.

Here’s a comprehensive list of available COPD Medications along with links to most COPD medication prices that will help you save up to 90% off U.S. retail prices.

Bronchodilator Medication

Doctors prescribe the drug to patients to help with breathing. If the patient is in dire need, the doctor will prescribe short-acting bronchodilators. Patients will have better results with an inhaler. Doctors use different inhalers based on the symptoms.

If the symptoms are not steady, doctors will prescribe these bronchodilator medications:

  • albuterol (Vospire ER) – Doctors use it to treat and prevent asthma symptoms.
  • levalbuterol (Xopenex) – The inhaler prevents wheezing and shortness of breath and provides fast relief. It keeps breathing under control so the patient can continue to work or do other activities.
  • ipratropium bromide (Atrovent) – The drug prevents wheezing and shortness of breath. It also helps to calm down the muscles around the airways for easier breathing.
  • albuterol/ipratropium (Combivent) – Used together, both Albuterol and Ipratropium relax the muscles. They make it easier for air to flow through the lungs. The patient inhales the Combivent to prevent bronchospasm.

Side effects reported using short-acting bronchodilators include blurry vision, dry mouth, and cough. The other side effects of using the inhalers include shaking and a fast heartbeat. If the patient has heart trouble, the doctor should know before prescribing short-acting bronchodilators.

Corticosteroid Medications

Corticosteroids MedicationsThe drug aids the immune system in slowing down response to diseases. Patients can take the drug in pill form, powder, or inhaler. Corticosteroids decrease swelling and allergic reactions.

The various forms of Corticosteroids include:

  • Prednisolone – The drug comes in solid, liquid form, or as a shot. Emergency rescuers use it to treat COPD patients. The side effects of the pills include upset stomach, muscle weakness, and weight gain.
  • fluticasone (Flovent HFA) – It is an inhaler that prevents and controls asthma attacks. The drug could be a dry powder that the patient inhales. The side effects include a sore throat, voice changes, headache, and allergic reaction.
  • budesonide (Pulmicort Nebules) – The patient inhales the powder to prevent hay fever-like symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose. Side effects of the powder reported are colds or thrush.

Methylxanthine Medications

Patients suffering from a more severe form of COPD have to use a combination of drugs. They include a mixture of an oral tablet, theophylline and a bronchodilator. The earlier methods discussed do not work by themselves. So, the doctors prescribe Theophylline. It is a pill used to treat the symptoms of asthma or lung disease. The doctors combine Theophylline with a bronchodilator.

The side effects of using Theophylline are vomiting, nausea, trouble sleeping, and tremors.

Long-Acting Bronchodilator Medications

Patients who are dealing with symptoms that do not go away get the long-acting bronchodilators. The patients take the medication once or two times per day.

The prescriptions for long-acting bronchodilator medications include:

  • Long-Acting Bronchodilator Medications -Sereventindacaterol (Arcapta) – The drug clears the airways in the lungs. It comes as an inhalation powder in capsule form. The drug does not treat sudden COPD symptoms. It is best to use the drug with a rescue inhaler such as Albuterol.
  • aclidinium (Tudorza) – It is an inhalation powder used to treat chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The drug comes in powder or inhaler form.
  • salmeterol (Serevent) – Doctors use it to treat asthma, and it comes as an inhalation powder. Patients should not use the drug with long-acting beta agonist (LABA).
  • arformoterol (Brovana) – The drug is an inhaler that clears the airways for better breathing. Doctors advised against using Arformoterol for asthma. A rescue inhaler with a short-acting bronchodilator (Albuterol) works well with the drug.
  • (Spiriva) – It is an inhalation powder used to treat breathing problems. The drug is for long-term use and not for immediate treatment of shortness of breath.
  • umeclidinium (Incruse Ellipta) – Doctors prescribe the inhalation powder for fast relief of COPD symptoms. The powder is not for a sudden breathing problem.
  • Long-Acting Bronchodilator Medicationolodaterol (Striverdi Respimat) – It is an inhalation spray used to clear the passageway in the lungs. The patient should use it with a rescue inhaler such as Albuterol.
  • glycopyrrolate (Seebri Neohaler) – Patients use the drug for the long-term breathing problems. It comes in capsule or powder form. It does not work well for sudden symptoms of COPD.
  • formoterol (Foradil, Perforomist) – Doctors use the drug to treat asthma or chronic COPD. The patient can take it as a powder or an inhaler. Doctors advised against using the drug with Salmeterol or Arformoterol.

The side effects of Long-Acting Bronchodilators include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Sinusitis

More serious side effects reported include pain while urinating, blurry vision, and heart palpitations. Other severe side effects include swelling, a rash, and an allergic reaction.

COPD Drug Combinations

COPD Drug CombinationsDoctors often combine long-acting bronchodilators to treat COPD. The combinations include:

  • glycopyrrolate/formoterol (Bevespi Aerosphere)
  • glycopyrrolate/indacaterol (Utibron Neohaler)
  • tiotropium/olodaterol (Stiolto Respimat)
  • umeclidinium/vilanterol (Anoro Ellipta)

The other combinations include inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting bronchodilators:

Phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) Inhibitor Medications

Patients take the inhibitors every day to stop COPD from getting out of control. It comes in pill form, roflumilast (Daliresp) and relieves inflammation to improve air flow in the lungs. The side effects of the drug include diarrhea, cramps, tremors, and weight loss. It works best with a long-acting bronchodilator. If the patient has any liver problems, the doctor should know about it.

Warnings for COPD Medications

Following your doctor’s instructions is crucial. Take the medications according to your doctor’s orders. If you experience any severe side effects, call your doctor right away. The reaction could be an allergic effect such as a rash or swelling. COPD can affect your cardiovascular system. So, if you have an irregular heartbeat or any cardiovascular problem, tell your doctor.

Conclusion

Speak to your doctor about the different medications used. Not all medicines treat the same symptoms. Questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What are the drug interactions?
  • Do you have a correct way to use the inhaler?
  • For how long should I take the COPD medicines?
  • What would happen if I stop taking my medication?
  • How many times per day should I use the COPD treatment?
  • Should I make any lifestyle changes to relieve my COPD symptoms?