Rate This:New Treatments for COPD Patients
Are you being treated for COPD, but nothing really seems to be working? New treatments for COPD are now available and more are underway. For the longest time, many people, especially women were faced with very few options when it came to treatment, but these newly developed treatment options are aiming to fix that. New treatments in investigative trials are showing a ton of promise, potentially relieving symptoms of COPD more effectively than ever before. As the prevalence of COPD has skyrocketed around the world, these newly developed treatments may finally provide the relief that millions of people from all over have been waiting for. While there is no cure for COPD for the time being, new treatments may dramatically increase an individual’s quality of life. Ask these questions about new treatments for COPD patients to learn more.8 Active Questions | Add a Question
While there are numerous traditional COPD treatments available, most of them are variations of the same thing. Short-acting and long-acting bronchodilators, as well as short-acting and long-acting anticholinergics can be used to relieve symptoms for shorter or longer periods of time. Bronchodilators and anticholinergics can be used alone or in combination for increased effectiveness, and are usually delivered via an inhaler. Inhaled steroids can also be taken, which reduce inflammation in the lungs to limit the severity of COPD symptoms.
Azithromycin is a drug that is typically prescribed to relieve exacerbation of COPD which produces symptoms such as cough, increased mucous production, wheezing, and shortness of breath among other things. Typically, it is used to kill bacteria causing these symptoms.
Recently it has been discovered that Azithromycin can also reduce inflammation in the lungs. By reducing inflammation, Azithromycin may be able to relieve symptoms and prevent exacerbations in the first place, potentially improving a patient’s quality of life.
A brand-new class of drug called a phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor has been found to be effective for COPD. The drug Roflumilast belonging to this new class of drug, can be used as an anti-inflammatory medication. In investigative trials, the drug was found to decrease exacerbations and improve the function of the lungs, thereby greatly reducing symptoms of COPD. When used in combination with inhaled steroids, Roflumilast may reduce a patient’s chance of developing pneumonia compared to taking inhaled steroids alone.
Taking Azithromycin as an anti-inflammatory is not without its downside. For one, some patients have developed hearing problems from using it continuously. Another huge concern in the medical world is the concern for potential antibiotic resistance which affects everyone.
Another surgical option is bronchoscopic lung volume reduction, which is a lower-risk option. With this type of surgery, a device called a endobronchial valve is used to perform a bronchoscopy. A camera is inserted into the lungs and a valve is placed to prevent air from reaching the diseased portions of the lungs.
Few realize that surgery actually is an option for some patients. Lung volume reduction surgery involves the removal of diseased portions of the lungs, allowing for air to more easily reach healthy portions of the lungs, reducing symptoms of COPD. Those with affected tissue in the lower lobes may not benefit from this surgery versus those with affected tissue in the upper lobes.