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Drugs are quite effective for controlling symptoms and even preventing flare-ups. A few classes of drugs are currently available and are sometimes used in combination. Drugs used for the treatment of COPD include:
- Bronchodilators – These improve airflow by opening the airways and helping you breathe easier.
- Corticosteroids – These are usually given in moderate to severe forms of COPD and have strong anti-inflammatory qualities. They are either inhaled or taken orally.
- Leukotriene modifiers – These drugs also decrease the inflammation of the airways, and help reduce excessive mucus.
- Antibiotics – Antibiotics are prescribed when COPD is complicated with an infection.
You should regularly review your medication with your doctor, as the drugs and dosage may be adjusted over time to better manage the symptoms. Be aware that all drugs can cause side effects and interact with other drugs or supplements. Your physician will also advise what medication to take in case you experience a flare-up.