What medicines will I need?
COPD medications fall into 2 categories:
- reliever medicines, taken during flare-ups (exacerbations) or for immediate relief of symptoms, and
- maintenance medicines, taken every day, whether or not you have symptoms, to help make breathing easier over the long term.
Depending on the severity of your COPD, you may be prescribed short-acting or long-acting bronchodilators.
- If your COPD is mild, your doctor may prescribe a short-acting inhaled bronchodilator.
- If your COPD is moderate or severe, your doctor may prescribe regular treatment with short- and long-acting bronchodilators.
- If your symptoms aren't controlled with inhalers, your doctor may recommend taking tablets or capsules as well.
Inhalers are devices that deliver medicines directly into your lungs as you breathe in. There are several different inhaler devices for COPD. Not all inhalers are used the same way.
Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can advise you on how to use your inhaler correctly and how often to use it.