If you suffer from COPD, or you are a caregiver to a family member with COPD, learning everything you can with regard to common kinds of COPD medications is vital to COPD management.
Below you will find a list of medicines and associated medical equipment commonly prescribed for individuals who suffer from COPD, as well as some advice on how to get the most from them.
Bronchodilators are COPD medications that relax the muscles of the bronchus. When these muscles are relaxed, the airways get bigger, making it easier for air to go through the lungs. This helps individuals with COPD to breathe better. There are several different types of bronchodilators. They can be categorized based on how long they function (referred to as long-acting and short acting medicines) or the manner in which they dilate or widen the airways (anticholinergics, beta-agonists or theophyllines).
Even though all bronchodilators dilate the airways, they achieve this through different ways. Thus bronchodilators can be combined to attain maximal benefit. If you suffer from COPD and you constantly experience breathing difficulty, you need to take bronchodilators regularly so as to keep your breathing in check. This is referred to as maintenance medication. On the other hand, reliever medicines are utilized for temporary breathless.
Anti-Inflammatory COPD Medications
Anti-inflammatory COPD medications help by decreasing the mucus production and swelling within the airways. Reducing that inflammation makes breathing a lot easier. These medications are also referred to as steroids or corticosteroids. Anti-inflammatories are usually inhaled medicines and it is essential that you use water to wash out your mouth soon after them using in order to prevent getting a throat yeast infection known as thrush.
A number of corticosteroids are available in the form of a pill and usually are utilized for short time periods in special circumstances for example when you are experiencing worsening symptoms.
Individuals with COPD can experience flare-ups which might be as a result of viral or bacterial infections. Your healthcare professional might prescribe some antibiotics or anti-viral drugs that you can take to deal with any on coming infection. Make sure you take all antibiotics precisely as prescribed by your doctor, and to take the full dose, even if you notice improvements in your condition before you finish using the drugs. If you fail to take the full dose, the infection might return and be even tougher and more difficult to deal with.
Oxygen therapy is an excellent method to combat COPD because it helps to increase the quantity of oxygen flowing into the lungs and bloodstream. Chronic COPD results in a decrease in the level of oxygen in the blood. Therefore boosting blood oxygen levels will help to improve the patient’s condition. Apart from to boost blood oxygen levels, oxygen therapy is also given to either prevent or slow heart ailments. Oxygen is also given when the patient is experiencing dyspnea or shortness of breath. However before you are given this type of therapy, your doctor may first carry out an arterial blood test.
Aside from preventing the flu, flu shots can help individuals suffering from COPD stop exacerbation of the ailment, which is a period when symptoms of the ailment get worse. If COPD exacerbation occurs repeatedly, it might result in acceleration of lung function decline and might reduce the life expectancy of the sufferer. Exacerbations are the major reasons why individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease seek emergency treatment as well as get hospitalized. Because an exacerbation can be very serious, it is highly essential that you do all you can to avoid an infection such as the flu. This will greatly help to keep the ailment under control.
Pneumococcal ailment is a life threatening disease which kills hundreds of individuals world wide each year. Even though anyone can get this ailment, your risk of developing it is greater if you suffer from COPD or some other chronic ailment. Pneumococcal illness can result in Pneumococcal pneumonia that kills about five percent of all individuals who get it. Suffering from a chronic ailment such as COPD can lead to an increase in these numbers.
It is now much harder to deal with the disease as a result of drug resistance. This is why vaccination is particularly essential. More often than not, one dose is sufficient to provide full protection against pneumococcal ailment, however if you have other health problems like cancer, AIDS, or HIV, your doctor may recommend a second dose. Pneumococcal vaccine is quite safe and it has little or no side effects.
Getting the Most Out of COPD Medications
You should realize that COPD medications do not cure chronic obstructive pulmonary disease however they help alleviate your symptoms. Take your drugs precisely as directed by your healthcare professional. What this means is that you should take the right drugs at the appropriate time. Establish a system that is most suitable for you as well as the individuals who give you care or support.
- Make a drug chart indicating what you take as well as when
- Make use of a weekly pill container with parts for each day plus various periods of the day.
- Set an alarm
- Ask a member of your family to assist you with planning your system.
If you are experiencing worsening symptoms or bothersome side effects, or you are not certain if you are using your drugs in the right way, speak with your doctor. He or she will explain to you the right method to take your COPD medications or might want to make slight adjustments in the drugs you are taking.
Aside from taking COPD medications, healthcare professionals also advise their patients to take the following steps:
- Avoid crowded rooms and do not expose your body to cold air.
- If you are a smoker, you should quit completely. Also, make sure you do not inhale second hand smoke.
- Avoid things that will make you cough, make use of a humidifier within the room and keep your body constantly hydrated.
- Exercise your body for at least thirty minutes every day.
COPD is an ailment that can take a heavy on the patient’s body as well as damage the sufferer’s emotional health. It creates several restrictions in life for example avoiding sporting activities. During such periods, it is not just the COPD medications that are essential, but the support and care of family and friends.