COPD Medications

Bronchodilators as COPD Medications

Bronchodilators are medications that work by opening up the airways, usually by relaxing the muscles of the airways. A few different types of bronchodilators are used to treat COPD. These medicines include:
  • Short-acting beta agonists, such as:
  • Long-acting beta agonists, some of which come in combination with a steroid or anticholinergic drug, such as:
  • Anticholinergic bronchodilators, such as:
  • Theophylline (Elixophyllin®, Theo-24®, TheoCap™, Theochron®, Uniphyl®).
Short-acting beta-agonists are often used on an "as needed" basis, while long-acting beta agonists are usually taken every day.
Typically, an anticholinergic medication (ipratropium or tiotropium) should be the first medication used for treating COPD. If necessary, a beta-agonist may be added.
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