COPD Medications

Steroids as COPD Medications

Sometimes, oral or IV steroids (such as prednisone) are necessary to help control a temporary worsening of COPD symptoms. Steroids work by decreasing inflammation of the airways, which helps improve breathing. Some people also benefit from using an inhaled steroid on a daily basis. Inhaled steroids for treating COPD include:
 
Inhaled steroids are not fast-acting medicines, so you must take them on a daily basis in order to obtain the full benefit. A few COPD medications combine a bronchodilator medication with an inhaled steroid. These medications include:
 
 

Antibiotics as COPD Medications

People with COPD are prone to frequent and severe lung infections, such as bronchitis. As a result, antibiotics are often used in the treatment of COPD. In general, antibiotics are only used when an infection occurs. However, they are sometimes used on a continuous basis to help prevent infections, although this type of use is controversial.
 

Immunizations as COPD Medications

People who have COPD are typically advised to receive a pneumococcal vaccine (pneumonia vaccine) and a yearly flu shot, as the disease may predispose people to pneumonia or the flu. Usually, the pneumococcal vaccine is a one-time vaccine, although there are a few situations in which a booster vaccine is required.
 
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