The official blog of the Lung Institute.

5 Medications That Could Be Making Your COPD Worse

When you’re not feeling well, popping a pill is often the first line of defense. Got a headache? Take some aspirin or ibuprofen. Allergies bothering you? An antihistamine will likely help. Though medications like these may effectively relieve the symptoms they’ve been created to treat, sometimes they have unintended consequences. In the case of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) specifically, certain medications can actually make this condition worse. These include: 1. Opioids The reason opioids are on the list is because they can slow down the respiratory system—an effect called respiratory depression—making it even harder for someone with COPD to breathe. If taken in large enough doses, they can even result in coma or death. This risk is compounded even more when opiate-based drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine are combined with benzodiazepines. That’s why, as of August 31, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that these classes of medications contain boxed warnings, “the FDA’s strongest warning,” to educate doctors and patients of this increased risk. 2. Antihistamines People typically take antihistamines for allergies, but they may also be taken to help treat colds, motion sickness, vertigo, and even anxiety. However, whether prescription or over the counter, they too can also potentially depress the respiratory system, resulting in the same effect as opioid-based medicines. In fact, some researchers suggest that this effect on the respiratory system is so strong that antihistamines may actually contribute to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a condition in which a baby dies during his or her sleep for no apparent cause. 3. Diuretics With many doctors prescribing COPD patients a diuretic, this one may surprise you, but it made the list because of the fluids and electrolytes you lose when taking this type of drug, ultimately impacting your ability to breathe. That’s why some researchers suggest that, if you are taking a diuretic, your electrolyte levels should be closely monitored. A potassium supplement, or potassium-sparing agent is recommended too. 4. Beta Blockers Beta blockers can potentially make your COPD worse in two different ways. First, sometimes they produce bronchial spasms, aggravating this condition. Second, they might also directly interact with beta-agonists, a medication that many COPD patients are prescribed by their primary care physicians. 5. Antitussives When you have COPD, it’s important that you’re able to cough, helping you get rid of the secretions in your lungs. Antitussives block this by suppressing the cough, making it more difficult to take a good, deep breath. Because all of these types of medication can potentially interfere with your COPD, it is super important to discuss these (and all other medications) with your doctor before taking them—even if they are available over the counter or without a prescription. If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic disease like COPD, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Institute offers a variety of adult stem cell treatment options. Contact us today at [phone] or fill out the form to see if you qualify for stem cell therapy, and find out what stem cell therapy could mean for you. Interested in our article on medications that may make your COPD worse? Share your thoughts and comments below.

When you’re not feeling well, popping a pill is often the first line of defense. Yet, in the case of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) specifically, certain medications can actually make this condition worse.

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6 Ways to Avoid COPD Flare-Ups

9 Jan 2018
| Under COPD, Disease Education, Lifestyle, Tips | Posted by | 6 Comments

Having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is difficult enough, but when the symptoms flare up—commonly referred to as COPD exacerbations—things can go from bad to worse pretty quick. This makes finding a way to avoid these exacerbations super important to your health and your life. Fortunately, there are many options to consider.

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Humidifiers for COPD During Winter: Keeping the Air at Home Clean

COPD Humidifiers During Winter: Keeping Your Air at Home Clean

For those who live with COPD, affecting one’s indoor air quality at home is critical to improving your respiratory health. With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to give you the information you need on COPD Humidifiers During Winter: Keeping Your Air at Home Clean.

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4 Simple Steps for Clearing the Lungs Naturally

4 Simple Steps for Clearing the Lungs Naturally

Nobody likes to talk about phlegm, but for those with COPD or Pulmonary Fibrosis, phlegm build-up can cause significant problems to respiratory health. With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is give you 4 Simple Steps to Clearing the Lungs Naturally.

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Your Doctor won’t Recommend Stem Cell Treatments for Your COPD. But, They Should

22 Nov 2017
| Under COPD, Disease Education, Lung Disease | Posted by | 4 Comments

We have treated thousands of patients and have a remarkable success rate with more than 84 percent of our patients reporting an improved quality of life within three months of treatment.

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Lifetime TV’s “Access Health” Touts Lung Institute’s Stem Cell Therapy


The Lung Institute got a chance to tell its remarkable story to a national television audience in early November. Lifetime TV’s “Access Health” featured Dr. James St. Louis, Lung Institute senior medical advisor, discussing the innovative stem cell therapy that has helped many people address the progression of their COPD and do more than just…

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5 Leading COPD FAQS for Caregivers

4 Nov 2017
| Under COPD, Disease Education, FAQs, Lung Disease, Medical | Posted by | 13 Comments
5 Leading COPD FAQS for Caregivers

The circumstances of being a caregiver can be incredibly difficult to overcome. Although there is a sense of duty and responsibility to those we love and care for, we must achieve a balance between our own lives, work, and family and the well-being of those in our care. With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to give you a breakdown on the 5 Leading COPD FAQs for Caregivers, and lend a helping hand of support for those feeling overwhelmed.

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Why Doesn’t the FDA Approve Our Stem Cell Treatment?

2 Nov 2017
| Under Disease Education, Resources, Treatments | Posted by | 16 Comments
Why Doesn't the FDA Approve Our Stem Cell Treatment?

You are concerned that stem cell treatment for lung disease is not approved by the FDA. Our stem cell treatments use your body’s (autologous) very own stem cells, so they do not fall under FDA scrutiny.

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Resveratrol May Help Reduce Lung Inflammation

24 Oct 2017
| Under Disease Education | Posted by | 10 Comments

A recent study by researchers at found it can alleviate inflammation in airway diseases.

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

Under current FDA guidelines and regulations 1271.10 and 1271.15, the Lung Institute complies with all necessary requirements for operation. The Lung Institute is firmly in accordance with the conditions set by the FDA for exemption status and conducts itself in full accordance with current guidelines. Any individual who accesses Lung Institute's website for information is encouraged to speak with his or her primary physician for treatment suggestions and conclusive evidence. All information on this site should be used for educational and informational use only.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and stem cell procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.