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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Don’t have the Cash? Try Fundraising

30 Nov 2017
| Under Financial, Tips | Posted by | 6 Comments

No Money for COPD Stem Cell Treatments? Fundraise! There is no doubt that one of the major obstacles facing a patient suffering with a lung disease like COPD is money. Insurance doesn’t cover the treatment because it is still considered elective and it’s a treatment, not a drug. We have had great success with our…

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Traveling with COPD: Your Travel Tips Guide

26 Nov 2017
| Under COPD, Guides, Lifestyle, Resources | Posted by | 0 Comments
Traveling with COPD: Your Travel Tips Guide

Traveling with COPD may seem nearly impossible. With these simple tips, traveling with COPD will be easier, so you can enjoy your vacation fully. Keep reading to learn more.

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Insurance Companies: Will They Cover Stem Cell Therapy for COPD?

9 Nov 2017
| Under Medical, Resources | Posted by | 3 Comments

You have a lung disease and you have exhausted all the options your doctor has recommended. You’ve heard about the Lung Institute and its remarkable stem cell therapy where 84 percent of patients with COPD report an improved quality of life within three months of treatment. So, what’s the problem?

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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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What Doctors are Saying About Stem Cells


Understanding stem cell therapy should go beyond the confines of this site, therefore we at the Lung Institute are here to take you outside of our own voices and bring you to doctors and researchers within the field. With your health in mind, we’re here to finally answer the question of What Doctors Are Saying About Stem Cells?

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Bronchodilator 101: Uses and Side Effects

8 Aug 2017
| Under Disease Education, Lung Disease, Product Reviews | Posted by | 0 Comments

After a chronic lung disease diagnosis is given, so too, is a prescription usually given for a bronchodilator. However, although bronchodilators are renowned for their ability to shortly relief symptoms, it’s important to know their inherent side effects. With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to bring you Bronchodilator 101: Uses and Side Effects.

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Liquid Oxygen: Weighing the Pros and Cons

2 Aug 2017
| Under Guides | Posted by | 1 Comment
Liquid Oxygen: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Convenience and efficiency are the two major deciding factors when choosing between liquid or concentrated oxygen. Which is better for you?

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Common COPD Terms: Understanding What They Mean

Common COPD Terms: Understanding What They Mean

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung disease that affects around 24 million people in the United States. When you’re diagnosed with COPD, your doctor might use terms that are new. To be able to treat your condition, you need to be able to understand the lingo. To help, we have put together…

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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.