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.