Managing COPD to improve quality of life

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The mortality rate for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has increased significantly in recent years. Although smoking cessation is still the most important intervention in COPD, a variety of pharmacologic therapies are available to help manage symptoms. Short-acting β2-agonists and/or ipratropium can be prescribed, with the use of additional therapies based on the severity of disease. Persons 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)259-265
Number of pages7
JournalDrug Benefit Trends
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Anticholinergics
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Smoking cessation
  • β-Agonists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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