Inhalers for COPD

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COPD inhalers


There are a lot of COPD medications out there. We’re here to help you find the right one for you.

When it comes to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic lung diseases, there’s a long list of COPD medications out there. The problem is determining whether these medications are ultimately helpful. In the realm of inhalers, there are a variety of different active medications, all with differing effects. In some cases, these inhalers might have a single medication within them (monotherapy) while others are known to contain two (combination therapy). These inhalers can be separated into three distinct categories: short-acting, long-acting and inhaled steroids. Unfortunately, due to the specificity of these inhalers, these medications are often used incorrectly. Although there are natural and alternative treatments available that address disease progression directly, inhalers can be a useful tool for battling the symptoms of COPD throughout the day. There are a lot of medications out there, and for those with COPD, you may already be familiar with a few.

With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to breakdown COPD medications: Inhalers and Other Treatments and give you some insight into inhalers, how they work and if they’re right for you.

COPD Medications: Inhalers, Their Types and What They Do

COPD Medications: Inhalers and Other Treatments

As we mentioned earlier, there are three types of inhalers: short-acting bronchodilators, long-acting bronchodilators and inhaled steroids. Bronchodilators work to open airways and increase air flow while inhaled steroids (otherwise known as corticosteroids) help reduce inflammation within the airways.

Short-Acting Bronchodilators are generally used in emergency situations, meaning that in instances when you feel particularly breathless—or right before you expect to—these inhalers are designed to act quickly and wear off just as fast. Working to help air to be exhaled more effectively and decrease the amount of air trapped in the lungs, these inhalers can lessen the sensation of shortness of breath. These inhalers work quickly (taking 5-20 minutes to kick in) and last for up to 6 hours after taking effect.

Long-Acting Bronchodilators are used for general maintenance of COPD. These inhalers are used regardless of emergency or symptom status and are typically taken twice a day, once every twelve hours. It’s best to consider these types of inhalers as preventative in nature, and research has shown that the use of these inhalers can lower the risk of COPD exacerbations. These inhalers typically take effect within 15-30 minutes.

Inhaled Steroids are used when patients continue to exhibit symptoms despite the continual use of a long-acting bronchodilator. Inhaled steroids work to decrease inflammation in the airway (inflammation which causes air to become trapped inside the lungs) but may take up to two weeks to take effect. As these steroids are stronger in nature, they are meant to be supplemental to long-acting bronchodilators and should be taken twice a day as prescribed by your doctor. However, it should be noted that they can increase the risk of developing pneumonia.

Among the more well-known options for bronchodilators and inhaled steroids, they include:

  • Advair is used for maintenance treatment of COPD
  • Symbicort is used for the treatment of stable COPD
  • Combivent helps the muscles around your airways to relax and helps the muscles around your airways to relax.
  • Pulmicort used for maintenance treatment of COPD, helps reduce inflammation in the airways, making it easier for you to breathe.
  • Spiriva is used as a maintenance treatment for COPD. It opens and relaxes the airways, making it easier to breathe.
  • Proventil is a rescue inhaler (intended to help immediately with breathing problems). Proventil helps immediately relax the airways, making it easier to breathe.
  • Atrovent is used in maintenance treatment of COPD.
  • Brovana is used for long-term, maintenance treatment in those with COPD to relax the airways and make it easier to breathe.
  • Arcapta Neohaler comes in capsule form and is administered via a dry powder inhaler. Used for once-daily, long-term maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in COPD, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
  • Breo Ellipta is a once-daily, maintenance medication for the treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with COPD, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

The Pros and Cons of COPD Inhalers

COPD Medications: Inhalers and Other Treatments

COPD inhalers can be an essential medication for those looking to relieve symptoms of COPD. As these medications work to either open up the airways themselves or to relieve inflammation (sometimes both depending on the inhaler), inhalers can serve as an effective option in addressing feelings of breathlessness in those with COPD.

However, despite the ability to relieve symptoms, inhalers are not without their drawbacks. As medications that only work to address symptoms, these treatment options are inherently unable to affect disease progression. This means that although inhalers can allow you to feel better and breathe easier, they cannot slow the progression of the disease itself.

Other Treatment Options

In the field of treatment for COPD, aside from the traditional medications of inhalers, corticosteroids and supplemental oxygen, changing one’s lifestyle is imperative to improving one’s health. Starting by quitting smoking, addressing one’s diet and making time for aerobic exercise are often key contributors to improving personal health and easing lung disease symptoms. Natural alternatives to traditional medicine may also be influential in addressing symptoms. From natural herbs to stem cell therapy (the body’s natural healing mechanism), alternatives to traditional medication have shown a significant effect on treating.

Moving Forward

There are a lot of COPD medications to choose from, and with so many options, the decision can be difficult. Though COPD can be incredibly challenging to overcome, changing one’s diet and consistently exercising are among the best lifestyle changes one can do aside from quitting smoking. When lifestyle changes fail to improve your quality of life in the way that you may expect, it may be time to consider stem cell therapy. Rather than simply addressing the symptoms of lung disease, stem cell therapy may affect disease progression and may improve quality of life.


Managing Your COPD Medications


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.

 


Pros and Cons of COPD Inhalers


Inhaler and other Treatments

When it comes to the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic lung diseases, there are lots of COPD treatments out there. The main problem is determining if a particular medication would be helpful to you.

One COPD treatment method is the use of inhalers. Here, there are a variety of medications to also choose from, all with their own effect. In some cases, these inhalers contain single medications while others can contain two.  Inhalers can be categorized into three categories, namely: short-acting, long-acting and inhaled steroids. However, with the features of these inhalers, the medications are often used incorrectly.

With your health in mind, we have come up with this article to tell you about, inhalers, how they work, and other treatments to consider.

Inhalers:

Like we said earlier, inhalers are devices containing medications which can be used by breathing in. Inhalers are of three categories: short-acting bronchodilators, long-acting bronchodilators, and inhaled steroids. The bronchodilators help to relax the airways, making breathing easier.

Short-acting bronchodilators: These are used for emergency purposes, as they are designed to act quickly and wear off fast. It works to allow air pass through the airways efficiently, decreasing the amount of trapped air in the lungs.

Long-acting bronchodilators: They are used for the general maintenance of COPD. Usually taken twice a day, these inhalers can be used regardless of emergency or symptom status. They are also known as preventive inhalers.

Inhaled Steroids: These are used as a final resort when patients continue to exhibit COPD signs despite the continual use of a long-acting bronchodilator. It decreases inflammation in the airway and taking up to two weeks to take effect.

They are stronger in nature; therefore, they are meant to be supplemental to long-acting bronchodilators and should be taken twice a day as prescribed by your doctor. You should note that they can increase the risk of developing pneumonia.

Some other well-known options for bronchodilators and inhaled steroids include:

  • Advar
  • Pulmicort
  • Brovana
  • Atrovent
  • Symbicort
  • Pulmicort
  • Breo Ellipta
  • Atrovent

Pros and Cons of COPD Inhalers:

COPD inhalers are effective medications for people looking to relieve symptoms of COPD. Since these medications work to either open airways or relieve patients of inflammation, inhalers can provide an effective option when trying to solve the problem of breathlessness in COPD patients.

However, just as other medications, inhalers have their drawbacks. Inhalers only work to address symptoms of COPD, meaning they have no effect on slowing down the disease progression.

Other options:

In treating COPD, asides from the traditional medications of using inhalers, corticosteroids and supplemental oxygen, changing some bad habits in our daily activity can go a long way to improving one’s health. You can start by quitting smoking, eating a balanced diet, and making some time for aerobic exercises. There are also natural medications which provide effective results.

There are a lot of COPD treatment options to choose from, but the best way to start treatment is to change one’s lifestyle by doing away with some bad habits like smoking. When lifestyle changes yield no result, you can try stem therapy which decreases disease progression and improves the quality of life.

 


COPD Rescue Inhalers and Rescue Medications


COPD Rescue Inhalers

Treatment for COPD comes in various types and forms. Some medications can be taken in form of capsules or pills, while some are inhaled as mist or powder. Each medication has its way of working, which makes it important to know the working method of each medication so as to get the best out of them.

Controller and Rescue Medications:

Some people diagnosed with COPD are expected to take medicines every day, even when their breathing goes well. These medications are called controller medication. They are long-acting copd inhalers expected to work in the long term, keeping your lungs open to helping to breathe easy and active every day. They are also used to avoid being sick with breathing problems that may need you to stay in the hospital.

Rescue medications, on the other hand, works immediately. They provide immediate relief, usually within a minute. Rescue inhalers are very effective, however, waiting for your lungs to get tight then rushing in to apply a rescue inhaler is not the best practice when treating COPD. We recommend you follow your medication schedule and move around with your controller medicines, even when your breathing is at its best.

You should keep track of long your inhalers last, showing a respiratory health professional how you use them and learn the best technique to apply them so as to get the best benefits from your inhalers.

You should also note that all medication has their side effects. Therefore, we recommend that you speak with your health care provider to know more about COPD medication and how to get the best out of them.

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types of copd inhalers available in the market


COPD Inhalers

Inhalers are devices that contain a medicine which is taken by breathing in/inhaling. It is one of the most common methods of treating COPD. With the different types of inhalers available in the market, it is confusing to make a choice on the best inhaler for you.

Below is a list of some of the most used inhalers with an explanation on how they can be used. Before making a choice on the inhaler for you, you should conduct your doctor to know their opinions.

Inhalers for COPD- Advair: This inhaler combines two medications- fluticasone and salmeterol, a long-acting bronchodilator. It is usually used for conservative treatment of COPD.

Symbicort: Symbicort which was originally used for the treatment of asthma, was later approved in February 2009 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of stable COPD. It contains a mixture of formoterol, a long-acting bronchodilator, and budesonide, a corticosteroid.

Combivent Respimat: This inhaler is made up of two bronchodilators: albuterol, which helps the muscles around your airways to relax, and ipratropium, an anticholinergic- a different type of drug that also helps the muscles around your airways to relax.

It helps to improve the bronchodilator effect of the medications- with same or reduced side effects.

Pulmicort: Pulmicort which is used in the conservative treatment of COPD contains budesonide, a corticosteroid which helps reduce inflammation in the airways, helping to make breathing much easier.

Spiriva: Spiriva contains an anticholinergic bronchodilator called tiotropium. Used for maintenance treatment of COPD, it helps to open and relax the airways, making breathing easier.

Proventil: Containing albuterol, a short-acting, beta-agonist bronchodilator, Proventil is primarily used as a rescue inhaler- meaning it is an inhaler used for emergency breathing problems for both asthma and COPD patients. It helps to relax the airways, making it easier to breathe.

Atrovent: This inhaler is used for maintenance treatment of COPD and it contains ipratropium, an anticholinergic bronchodilator.

Brovana: This is a long-acting inhaler used for long-term maintenance of COPD to relax the airways and make breathing easier. Brovana is not a rescue inhaler and it should only be used twice a day- in the morning and in the evening.

Arcapta Neohaler: This is a very long-acting beta-agonist bronchodilator which comes in capsule form and is used through a dry powder inhaler. It is to be used once a day and long-term maintenance of airflow barrier in COPD.

Breo Ellipta: This inhaler combines two medications- fluticasone furoate, an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), and vilanterol, a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist to provide maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with COPD, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.


Many Types of COPD Inhalers


Types of COPD Inhalers

Inhalers contain medications, taken by breathing in, and are used for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There are many different types of inhaler, which makes getting one confusing. This article provides some information on the different types of medicines used in inhalers, inhaler types and some information about inhalers in general.

The Medicines in Inhalers:

Inhaler medicines are usually consumed by breathing in, meaning you need a smaller dose compared to taking a tablet or liquid by mouth. By breathing in these medications, the airways and lungs are relaxed while the rest gets into the body through the bloodstream.

With inhalers being produced by different companies, it means there are lots of inhalers available on prescription, all coming in different colors. Therefore, it is important to know the name of your inhaler and its color as this is important when seeing a doctor who doesn’t have your medical record.

Types of Inhalers:

When treating COPD, there are a large number of inhalers available on prescription. Inhalers can be grouped into short-acting bronchodilators, long-acting bronchodilators, and steroids. However, there are some inhalers which contain two type medicine.

Short-acting bronchodilator Inhalers: Inhalers with bronchodilators are commonly prescribes as they help to relax the muscles in the airways, opening them up as wide as possible. They are sometimes called relievers. They include:

  • Beta-agonist inhalers- E.g. terbutaline
  • Antimuscarinic inhalers- E.g. ipratropium

The short-acting bronchodilator effect lasts 5-15 minutes with a beta-agonist inhaler, and within 30-40 minutes with an antimuscarinic inhaler.

Long-acting bronchodilator Inhalers: This acts in a similar way as the short-acting inhalers, the only difference is that each dose lasts 12 hours compared to the former’s 40 minutes. They provide a lasting solution when symptoms remain after using short-acting inhalers. They include:

  • Beta-agonist inhalers- E.g. formoterol
  • Antimuscarinic inhalers- E.g. tiotropium.

Steroid inhalers: This is usually used in addition to the long-acting bronchodilator inhaler if you experience a severe COPD or regular flashes of symptoms. They help to reduce inflammation. The most inhaled steroids are:

  • E.g. Asmabec®, Beclazone®
  • E.g. Easyhaler Budesonide®
  • E.g. Alvesco®.
  • This is a yellow or orange colored inhaler, e.g. Flixotide®
  • E.g. Asmanex Twisthaler®.

Steroid inhalers may not have an effect on your symptoms, but they help to prevent flare-ups. They are also known as preventers.

There are also combination inhalers which usually consist of steroids and either short-acting or long-acting beta-agonist. Some of these inhalers include:

  • Fostair® (formoterol and beclometasone).
  • Seretide® (salmeterol and fluticasone) which is a purple-coloured inhaler.
  • Symbicort® (formoterol and budesonide).

Combination inhalers are mainly used when people experience severe flare-ups. However, it is better to use a single inhaler device.

 


FDA Approved COPD Inhalers


FDA approved COPD Inhaler

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved a new medication named Stiolto Respimat, to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The medication which combines two existing COPD drugs with matching effects into a once-daily inhaler was developed by Boehringer Ingelheim.

In most people with COPD, the airways have become narrowed, damaged or partially blocked. One of the best treatment is to expand the airways, allowing oxygen to make its way farther into the lungs where it can be absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to the rest of the body.

This medication creates a smooth layer of muscle to line the airways, expanding and contracting to control the size.

The medication is made up of two COPD drugs- Tiotropium and Olodaterol.

Tiotropium, which is the first drug approved, aims at the nerves that make these muscles contract. When these nerves are blocked, the airways expand.

The second drug, Olodaterol, helps to take advantage of this situation. When the muscles are relaxed, it activates the body’s adrenaline system, which forces the airways open. Oldoterol is a short-acting medication, providing relief in 5 minutes.

Trials prove that combination of these drugs is more effective compared to using either of them alone. Every medication has one of these drugs mixed with a steroid to reduce swellings. The Stiolto Respimat is the first to provide a combination of both.

This medication comes with handheld inhalers which are to be used once a day.

Giving a new option:

Although the Stiolto Respimat provides a combination of two drugs, it can serve as an effective new option for doctors looking to help manage their patient’s condition.

Dr. Albert Rizzo, who is the senior medical advisor to the American Lung Association and section chief of pulmonary/critical care medicine in the Christiana Care Health System, in an interview with Healthline, said “It does offer us and our patients options,”

Some signs that show that you may be experiencing COPD include:

  • tightness in your chest
  • wheezing, whistling, or creaking sound when you breathe
  • shortness of breath, especially when exercising
  • A persistent cough or a cough that regularly brings up mucus

If you feel you may be having CODP, speak with your primary care physician to determine how best to solve this situation.

 

 


Holistic Treatment for COPD


Holistic Treatment for COPD

CODP which means Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a term used to describe progressive lung diseases which includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. It is usually characterised by increasing breathlessness.

People who suffer from this disease experience discomfort and fatigue from exacerbations, making it hard for traditional treatment options like inhalers and corticosteroids to work efficiently. These treatments come with different side effect like weight gain and infections. With this in mind, there has been a call for more holistic treatment methods, especially in the field of holistic medicine.

Known as the whole treatment of the entire body and mind and used to treat specific disease, here are some holistic COPD treatment methods to improve healing:

Natural Holistic COPD Remedies:

Since holistic medicine has to do with treating the body itself in order to treat a disease, in the case of chronic lung disease, different natural remedies may be used to create airway clearance and reduce mucus. Some of these remedies include:

  1. Ginger which reduces congestion and improves lung circulation
  2. Elecampane which helps to relieve cough
  3. Osha root which also reduces congestion
  4. Rosemary which contains healing vitamins A and C, and minerals calcium to help improve blood circulation.

Natural Supplement:

There are a lot of vitamins and nutrients that can be used to help reduce inflammation while improving natural breathing from within. Some of these supplements include:

  1. Vitamin D– is a sun-derived vitamin which has been proven to improve lung function
  2. Bromelain– found in pineapple juice, it is believed to reduce inflammation and work efficiently for COPD relief.
  3. NAC– this antioxidant improves reduces inflammation, cough and phlegm.

Diet and Exercise:

A healthy diet and very good amount of exercise goes a long way in improving our health in general. It is sometimes the best option for patients of COPD who already suffered from limited mobility, because exercise can be the simplest.

Acupuncture:

The effect of acupuncture cannot be overestimated. It relaxes the muscles and also allows better respiration. When people with COPD uses acupuncture, it has been noticed that they far less breathless.

Stop Smoking:

This is the most effective treatment method you can use to fight against COPD. This is because when we quit smoking, we improve our overall health. Smoking does not just have negative effect of your body inside out, it also cuts your life span short, and making the ones you have left very difficult.

Although being diagnosed with COPD can be quite frustrating and unsurmountable, the major step is to get a COPD screening and lookout for effective ways to treat the disease headon.

 

 

 

 


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