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What Medications are Prescribed for COPD?

What medications are prescribed for COPD?

The medications prescribed for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) depend on the type of symptoms that a patient is experiencing, as well as their frequency and severity. COPD, which is a category of diseases including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is characterized by restricted airflow into and out of the lungs, resulting in shortness of breath and a chronic cough. As such, the goal of COPD treatment is to help patients breathe easier by increasing airflow and reducing airway inflammation.

Some of the most commonly prescribed medications for COPD treatment are bronchodilators. These medications, which are usually taken through an inhaler, help to open a patient’s airways and increase airflow. While some inhalers only contain one bronchodilator (referred to as monotherapy), others contain both a bronchodilator and an inhaled steroid (referred to as combination therapy). There are two types of bronchodilators:  beta-agonists, which relax and widen the muscles in a patient’s airways, and anticholinergics, which prevent the muscles in the airways from tightening while also clearing mucus from the patient’s lungs. Some of the bronchodilators used for COPD treatment are short-acting, meaning that they act fast, but wear off quickly. Because they are generally used in emergencies, they are often referred to as rescue bronchodilators. Other bronchodilators are long-acting. These bronchodilators, which are generally taken twice a day, are used to maintain COPD symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

In addition to bronchodilators, some of the medications commonly prescribed for COPD treatment include the following:

  • Steroids — Steroids are often prescribed as a supplement to long-acting bronchodilators, given with the goal of reducing inflammation in a patient’s airways. Steroids used for COPD treatment come in two forms: inhaled steroids and short-term oral steroids. Inhaled steroids are typically prescribed to patients who continue to experience frequent flare-ups even after continually using a long-acting bronchodilator. Short-term oral steroids are generally prescribed to patients who are experiencing moderate to severe flare-ups.
  • Oral non-steroid medications — Some people with COPD may benefit from taking oral non-steroid medications. For example, COPD patients also requiring treatment for pulmonary fibrosis may be prescribed pirfenidone, which helps to reduce lung fibrosis.
  • Vaccinations — Because people with COPD have trouble exhaling bacteria and pollutants from their lungs, they stand a greater risk of contracting influenza or pneumonia. As such, COPD treatment often involves influenza and pneumonia vaccinations. While the influenza vaccine must be administered every year, the pneumonia vaccine is typically only administered once, although it may require subsequent boosters to maintain its effectiveness.
  • Antibiotics — If a COPD patient develops a respiratory infection, it could worsen his or her symptoms and even develop into pneumonia. As such, people with COPD are often prescribed antibiotics for treatment of these infections.

Unfortunately, although these medications can help to alleviate COPD symptoms, they do not actually address the underlying condition. At the Lung Institute, however, we offer an alternative form of COPD treatment that can slow the progression of the disease itself:  cellular therapy. During this minimally invasive procedure, we harvest cells from a patient’s own blood, separate the cells from the rest of the fluid and then reintroduce the concentrated cells back into the patient’s bloodstream.

If you would like to learn more about adding cellular therapy to your COPD treatment plan, please call us today at (800) 729-3065. Our goal is to help you breathe easier.


  1. Lung Institute

    3 months ago


    We are sorry to hear about your condition. We have treated Viet Nam era vets who have developed a lung disease and reported they were in a similar situation as you in that they didn’t smoke but may have been subject to Agent Orange.

    There are some laboratories that will test for dioxin contamination, though it is relatively expensive. We would suggest you speak with your primary doctor or specialist and see what they recommend.

    We have a dedicated medical team who have a wealth of knowledge about cellular therapy, treatment options, candidacy, cost and more. So, feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  2. Mike Meining

    3 months ago

    I’Ve Been diagnosed with COPD and never smoked, been around secondary smoke, nor inhaled chemicals. I did serve in Thailand during the vietnam war and was in areas defoliated by agent orange. Is there any test that can prove dioxin contamination as the cause of my copd?

  3. Lung Institute

    4 months ago


    Thank you for your comment and question. We would suggest you talk with your primary doctor or specialist to see if they think the cellular treatments might help with your bone marrow condition. We don’t know if that is something we could answer.

    If you do have any questions about our specific treatments, our dedicated medical team has a wealth of knowledge about cellular therapy, treatment options, candidacy, cost and more. We’re happy to answer your questions, so feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  4. Tony Santana

    4 months ago

    Question , beside copd being an iusse , have a disorder of the marrow ,makes to many boold cells , w,r,&p , can cell help lower production ?

  5. Lung Institute

    7 months ago


    Thank you for your question. Because COPD and emphysema affect everyone differently and at different rates of progression, it’s challenging to say or know what life expectancy anyone has with it, so it’s important that you see your doctor regularly, especially if you notice any changes to your symptoms.

    We’re happy to answer your questions about cellular treatment for chronic lung diseases, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak with our knowledgeable medical team. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  6. Wayne

    8 months ago

    How long do you live once diognosed with copd?

  7. Lung Institute

    8 months ago

    Thank you for your message. At the Lung Institute, many of our patients are surprised at the ease of our cellular treatments. All of our treatments are minimally invasive and outpatient. While everyone’s pain threshold varies, we work hard to make our treatments as pain-free as possible. Watching the webinars is helpful and maybe this link will help offer more information. WE would recommend talking with one of our patient coordinators and discussing treatments and asking them questions.

    Our dedicated medical team has a wealth of knowledge about cellular therapy, treatment options, candidacy and more. So, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with someone from our medical team over our secure phone line. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind regards,

    The Lung Institute

  8. Donna Archambault

    8 months ago

    These articles are great. Still considering cell after I Talk with my pulmonary Dr. In FL. I notice bone marrow therapy produces better results. Isn’t this painful? Need to know how this is done. Trying to watch webinars.

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.

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