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COPD - control drugs

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - control drugs; Bronchodilators - COPD - control drugs; Beta agonist inhaler - COPD - control drugs; Anticholinergic inhaler - COPD - control drugs; Long-acting inhaler - COPD - control drugs; Corticosteroid inhaler - COPD - control drugs

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Description

Control medicines for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are drugs you take to control or prevent symptoms of COPD. You must use them every day for them to work well.

These medicines are not used to treat flare-ups. Flare-ups are treated with quick-relief (rescue) drugs.

Depending on the medicine, control drugs help you breathe easier by:

You and your doctor can make a plan for the control drugs that you should use. This plan will include when you should take them and how much you should take.

You may need to take these drugs for at least a month before you start to feel better. Take them even when you feel OK.

Ask your doctor about the side effects of any medicines you are prescribed. Be sure you know which side effects are serious enough that you need to call your doctor right away.

Follow instructions on how to use your medicines the right way.

Make sure you get your medicine refilled before you run out.

Anticholinergic Inhalers

Anticholinergic inhalers include:

Use your anticholinergic inhalers every day, even if you do not have symptoms.

Beta-agonist Inhalers

Beta-agonist inhalers include:

DO NOT use a spacer with beta-agonist inhalers.

Inhaled Corticosteroids

Inhaled corticosteroids include:

After you use these drugs, rinse your mouth with water, gargle, and spit.

Combination Inhaled Medicines

Combination medicines combine two drugs and are inhaled. They include:

Phosphodiesterase Inhibitor

Roflumilast (Daliresp) is a tablet that is swallowed.

Antibiotics

Azithromycin is a tablet that is swallowed.

Related Information

Lung disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - adults - discharge
How to use your peak flow meter
How to use a nebulizer
Eating extra calories when sick - adults
How to use an inhaler - no spacer
How to use an inhaler - with spacer
Using oxygen at home
Oxygen safety
How to breathe when you are short of breath
Traveling with breathing problems
COPD - what to ask your doctor
Using oxygen at home - what to ask your doctor

References

Anderson B, Brown H, Bruhl E, et al. Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement website. Health Care Guideline: Diagnosis and Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). 10th edition. www.icsi.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/COPD.pdf. Updated January 2016. Accessed February 28, 2018.

Han MK, Lazarus SC. COPD: clinical diagnosis and management. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 44.

Rabe KF, Watz H. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Lancet. 2017;389(10082):1931-1940. PMID: 28513453 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28513453.

Vogelmeier CF, Criner GJ, Martinez FJ, et al. Global strategy for the diagnosis, management and prevention of chronic obstructive lung disease 2017 report: GOLD Executive Summary. Respirology. 2017;22(3):575-601. PMID: 28150362 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28150362.

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Review Date: 2/18/2018  

Reviewed By: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron Jr. Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. 02-25-19: Editorial update.

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