Ways & How

how to manage COPD

how to manage COPD

Since Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is generally caused by smoking if not chemical exposure, you must stop smoking first to start managing it. Oxygen therapy can then follow depending on the extent of the disease. Corticosteroid inhalers provide short-term relief by reducing airway activity. Long-term benefits are possible by avoiding acute exacerbations by undergoing regular oxygen therapy, monitoring, and rehabilitation. How to manage COPD is mainly done through therapies. Since a direct cure is still non-existent, the management of severe exacerbations of COPD is directed at giving relief to the symptoms and restoring the lung’s functionality. Hospital facilities will be needed in administering the therapies required. Aside from intravenously administered medications, mechanical ventilation will be needed for oxygen supplementation. These therapies include:

  1. Oxygenation or oxygen supplementation is carried out through a nasal cannula or face mask. This is a frequent procedure when the patient is hospitalized for the management of exacerbations.

    Intubation or a positive pressure mask ventilation method with continuous positive airway pressure may be ordered by the doctor when the damage is extensive. This will provide adequate oxygenation as needed especially when hypercapnia, frequent exacerbations, and an altered mental state are observed.

  2. Bronchodilators supplied through inhalers are necessary to provide immediate relief. Beta2-agonists are prescribed without delay when experiencing acute exacerbations. Albuterol using a nebulizer clears the airways for rapid medication delivery. Salmeterol is one kind of Beta2-agonist which has long-lasting effects. Twice-a-day dosages will benefit the patient greatly. This has fewer side effects than orally administered COPD drugs.

  3. Anticholinergics are also effective in eliminating or reducing COPD symptoms. Ipratropium is an anticholinergic that is inhaled through a nebulizer or metered-dose inhaler. It has minimal systemic absorption thus minimizing side effects. It can be combined with Albuterol for best results making it easier for the patients to endure.

    Simplifying treatments can be very helpful to patients psychologically. They will not feel the extent of their sickness if the procedures are minimized.

  4. Antibiotics administration is also an essential procedure for COPD management. It plays a part in the clinical recovery of patients with acute exacerbations especially in cases of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. This is prescribed during the initial treatment for COPD exacerbations.

  5. Continue outpatient prescriptions of antibiotics for the management of COPD. Doxycycline or Vibramycin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole such as Bactrim DS and Septra DS and Amoxicillin Clavulanate potassium, or Augmentin, can all be taken orally. Augmented penicillin, particularly fluoroquinolone, is often prescribed to patients ages 65 years old and above with frequent exacerbations. Four or more occurrence per year is considered frequent.

Intravenous treatment with an antipseudomonal penicillin is compulsory when the patient is hospitalized. Other medications like the third-generation cephalosporin, the currently manufactured macrolide, will be administered based on the resistance patterns of local bacteria. Treatments for infections associated with gram-negative bacteria during serious exacerbations should include a third-generation cephalosporin. Augmented penicillin can also be an alternative together with fluoroquinolone or aminoglycoside for interactions. Patients who do not respond well to therapies can opt for surgery, but this should be the last resort. How to manage COPD will be in the hands of your officiating doctor, but full compliance is needed to make the strategies work. It might seem like a trial-and-error experiment in the beginning, but some treatments have to be tried to see how your body will react to them. It is important to have an open discussion with your doctor so that the details that you’ll provide will be helpful in his evaluation.


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