There are two main types of medications for COPD. They may be used separately or as part of an integrated treatment plan.
Which medications could be appropriate for your or your loved one's COPD treatment plan?
Also known as disc medications, these consist of a chamber filled with tiny particles of a dry powder medication that are inhaled into the lungs. DPIs require patients to inhale forcefully through the device.
Also known as inhalers or puffers, these are the most common way to take COPD medication. These devices feature a small aerosol canister that delivers a fine spray of medicine into a patient's mouth that can then be inhaled into the lungs.
MDIs require "hand-breath coordination," meaning that the patient has to inhale just as the spray of medication is being released. Some people choose to use a device called a spacer that makes it easier to breathe in medication when using an MDI.
Nebulizer systems take liquid medication and turn it into a fine breathable mist that's inhaled through a mouthpiece or mask. When using a nebulizer, most medications are delivered in 5 to 15 minutes and work effectively with regular breathing.
Soft mist inhalers are named for the slow-moving mist they deliver. The mist is composed of small particles that are delivered over a longer period of time.
Just like MDIs, SMIs require hand-breath coordination. However, the longer delivery and slower speed make coordination easier.