Drugs used to treat COPD and the side effects to look out for

COPD refers to a group of conditions that develop when your lungs and airways get damaged. This condition includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and symptoms include difficulty in breathing, wheezing, cough, and tightness in the chest. More often than not, COPD develops due to smoking, but in some people, it can occur due to environmental toxins and gases.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for COPD. Hence, focus is primarily on alleviating the symptoms and improving quality of life. Researchers are trying to come up with new treatments for COPD that have fewer side effects compared to the treatments that are currently in use.

 Short-acting bronchodilators are work to dilate the airways so that you can breathe more easily. If you require quick relief or you are in a situation where you cannot breathe, doctors will prescribe short-acting bronchodilators. This COPD medication is administered through COPD treatment inhaleror nebulizer. However, the medication is not without side effects.

Some of the side effects of short-acting bronchodilator include blurry vision, dry mouth, and cough. These effects remain for a short while. However, there are other more worrying side effects, like tremors and fast heartbeat. If you have an existing heart condition, let your doctor know of it before you begin taking this new COPD medication.

There are also long-acting bronchodilators that act for up to 12 hours. In this case, the drug is released gradually to ease the breathing and is not used as a rescue COPD medication. Side effects can include dry mouth, runny nose, tremors, dizziness, and irritated throat. In addition, long-acting bronchodilators also have other side effects, like allergic reaction, fast heart rate, and blurry vision.

It is also prudent to remember that dry mouth increases your chances of getting tooth decay. Hence, you should visit your dentist regularly. If you have widespread tooth decay, speak to your dentist about affordable dental implants. Find out whether the dentist has a financing option as prices for dental implantscan be quite high.

COPD result in inflammation of airways which make it difficult to breathe. In such circumstances, doctors prescribe corticosteroids that work to reduce inflammation and make it easier for air to flow to and from the lungs. These medications can be inhaled, taken orally, or used as injectables. There are different types of corticosteroids that can be used to treat COPD.

Fluticasone is used as an inhaler, but its side effects include allergic reaction, headache, sore throat, and voice changes. Another corticosteroid called budesonide, which is available as an inhaler, liquid and powder, can lead to thrush in the mouth or colds. On the other hand, prednisolone, which is usually an emergency COPD medication, can lead to muscle weakness, weight gain, and upset stomach.

If you have severe COPD and bronchodilators or corticosteroids do not help you, your doctor may prescribe the pill version of theophylline. Be sure your doctor performs a blood test to check your existing levels of theophylline before putting you on the medication. This level can change if you take a new COPD medication, and if you are taking theophylline, your doctor needs to supervise you carefully. Side effects of theophylline include severe nausea, insomnia, tremors, vomiting, seizurs, and arrhythmia.

When you start new treatments for COPD, it is necessary to find out the side effects. Make sure you seek immediate medical attention if you get side effects or experience anything out of the ordinary.