Managing COPD: How to deal with the most common problems

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Although smoking cessation is still the most important intervention in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a variety of pharmacologic therapies are available to help manage symptoms. Short-acting β2-agonists and/or ipratropium should be taken as needed, and the use of additional therapies is based on the severity of disease. Patients with moderate or severe COPD should regularly take 1 or more long-acting bronchodilators. The long-acting β2-agonists salmeterol and formoterol have been demonstrated to improve health-related quality of life. Newer therapies include the long-acting anticholinergic tiotropium and a salmeterol-fluticasone combination. These agents improve forced expiratory volume in 1 second and may reduce the rate of acute exacerbations. For patients with moderate to very severe COPD, participation in a pulmonary rehabilitation program can improve health status, quality of life, and exercise tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-289
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Respiratory Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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