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
Control medicines for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are drugs you take to control or prevent symptoms of COPD. You must use these medicines every day for them to work well.
Depending on the medicine, control drugs help you breathe easier by:
You and your health care provider 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 provider 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 provider 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 include:
Use your anticholinergic inhalers every day, even if you do not have symptoms.
Beta-agonist inhalers include:
DO NOT use a spacer with beta-agonist inhalers.
Inhaled corticosteroids include:
After you use these drugs, rinse your mouth with water, gargle, and spit.
Combination medicines combine two drugs and are inhaled. They include:
For all these medicines, some generic brands have just become or will become available in the near future, thus different names might also exist.
Roflumilast (Daliresp) is a tablet that is swallowed.
Azithromycin is a tablet that is swallowed.
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 January 23, 2020.
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.
Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) website. Global strategy for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: 2020 report. goldcopd.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/GOLD-2020-FINAL-ver1.2-03Dec19_WMV.pdf. Accessed January 22, 2020.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 1/1/2020
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.
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