Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic disease that causes inflammation and blockage of airflow to the lungs. If you have been diagnosed, you should know this disease is prevalent as almost 16 million Americans have reported being diagnosed. It is a disease that can become dangerous if you do not take action either to prevent or manage its symptoms as COPD was recently the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
If you have either conditions chronic bronchitis or emphysema you may already be at risk for COPD to take preventative steps today. COPD is a disease that progresses which means it can get worse over time if you don't cut out risk factors like smoking.
COPD is treatable, allowing you to be in control of your symptoms and experience good quality of life.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Symptoms
- Shortness of breath, emphasized with physical activities like walking up the stairs
- Feeling of a tight chest
- A chronic productive cough with mucus
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Risk Factors
The main 100% confident cause and risk factor of COPD, that I cannot stress enough to my patients is smoking. If you are a chronic tobacco smoker and are having lung issues, please consider nicotine replacement therapy and understand people will be happy to help you quit, and even if you aren’t ready give 1-800-QUIT-NOW a call for a free educational talk with someone that cares. If you are a chronic smoker and you feel like your lungs are fine, this may be true while you are young but remember lung conditions get worse over time, and I can guarantee if you keep smoking you will have breathing issues in the future.
COPD Risk Factors
|Exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke|
|Heavy workplace exposure to dust, chemical vapors, and fumes|
|Heavy exposure to burning fuel fumes|
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Diagnosis
COPD can be diagnosed in various ways. Some diagnostics your healthcare provider could perform include:
|Spirometry||You will blow into a large tube to see how much air your lungs can hold.|
|Chest X-ray||This will allow your provider to see if you have emphysema which is a cause of COPD.|
|Arterial Blood Gas Test||This is a blood test that will allow your provider to see how effectively your lungs are bringing in oxygen and removing carbon dioxide.|
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Medication Treatments
Drug Therapies for COPD
|Generic Name (Brand)||Dosage||How do I take it?||Pharmacist Notes|
|Ipratropium (Atrovent HFA)||The normal inhaler dose for most is two puffs (34mcg) by mouth four times daily.||Take inhalations as directed by your provider. Here is how if you forgot.||Never inhale more than 12 puffs in one day.|
|Ipratropium/Albuterol (Combivent)||The normal inhaler dose for most is 1 puff four times daily.||Take inhalations as directed by your provider. Here is a reminder.||Never inhale more than 6 puffs in one day.|
|Salmeterol (Serevent Diskus)||The normal inhaler dose for most is 50mcg twice daily.||Take inhalations as directed by your provider. In case you need to review, check this.||Never use salmeterol alone; it must always be taken with an inhaled steroid medication.|
|Tiotropium (Spiriva)||The normal inhaler dose for most is 18mcg daily.||Take inhalations as directed by your provider. Here is how.||Never swallow tiotropium capsules or place them in any other inhaler.|
|Umeclidinium bromide/Vilanterol (Anora Ellipta)||The normal inhaler dose for most is 1 puff (62.5 mcg/25 mcg) daily.||Take inhalations as directed by your provider. Check instructions here to review.||Do not use it for immediate COPD attacks.|
|Salmeterol/Fluticasone (Advair Diskus)||The normal inhaler dose for most is 1 puff twice daily.||Take inhalations as directed by your provider. Here is a reminder.||Use this medication at the same time every day.|
|Mometasone/Formoterol (Dulera)||The normal inhaler dose for most is 2 puffs twice daily.||Take inhalations as directed by your provider. Here is how if you forgot.||Do not use it for immediate COPD attacks.|
|Fluticasone Furoate/Vilanterol Trifenatate (Breo Ellipta)||The normal inhaler dose for most is one puff daily.||Take inhalations as directed by your provider. Check instructions here to review.||Do not use it for immediate COPD attacks.|
Compare Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Medication Prices
Compare COPD Inhaler Prices
|Drug Strength||U.S. Pharmacy Retail Price||U.S. Discount Card Price||Lowest International Pharmacy Price||Greatest Percentage Savings|
|Atrovent HFA 20mcg||$533.14*||$428.86||$58.74||89%|
|Generic Atrovent HFA (Ipratropium) 20mcg||N/A in the U.S.||N/A in the U.S.||$26.39||-|
|Generic Combivent (Ipratropium/Albuterol) 20mcg/100mcg||N/A in the U.S.||N/A in the U.S.||$49.95||-|
|Serevent Diskus 50mcg||$601.20||$407.12||$63.99||89%|
|Generic Serevent Diskus (Salmeterol) 50mcg||N/A in the U.S.||N/A in the U.S.||$51.99||-|
|Generic Spiriva (Tiotropium) 18 mcg||N/A in the U.S.||N/A in the U.S.||$30.99||-|
|Anora Ellipta 62.5mcg/25mcg||$524.42||$429.87||$157.80||70%|
|Generic Advair Diskus (Salmeterol/Fluticasone)||$321.60||$114.40||$17.40||95%|
|Generic Dulera (Mometasone/Formoterol) 200mcg/6mcg*||N/A in the U.S.||N/A in the U.S.||$39.60||-|
|Breo Ellipta 100mcg/25mcg||$446.48||$369.72||$116.40||74%|
This price data is current as of April 2021. U.S. pharmacy retail price reflects a national average of out-of-pocket cost sourced from PharmacyChecker.com and GoodRx. All other pricing reflects that of the lowest price per inhaler on PharmacyChecker.com.
*There are slight dose variations for some medications sold internationally. Check with your provider regarding COPD therapy equivalence. Examples from this dataset:
Atrovent HFA in the U.S. is sold as a 17mcg version.
Generic Dulera at international pharmacies is available at 200mcg/6mcg.
Ordering Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Medication Online
As always, it's important to remain vigilant when shopping online for medications. I recommend you only order from pharmacies that have been accredited for high pharmacy standards by a third party. Luckily for you, PharmacyChecker has done all the leg work for you: When you compare prices on our website, you are only comparing prices listed by accredited pharmacies we have vetted for licensure and compliance of our pharmacy standards.
If you are unsure about a certain online pharmacy, go ahead and use our PharmacyChecker Verification Portal.
Pharmacist Advice on COPD Medication
The best medication to treat COPD is to prevent your lung health from declining in the first place, if you are a chronic tobacco smoker, please look into resources that can help you quit, breathe easier, and add more years to your life to spend with loved ones.
Be mindful that COPD medications are effective at doses prescribed by your provider. Do not exceed doses with COPD inhalers as they are not a rescue inhaler like albuterol/Proair/Ventolin.
As different inhalers may have different techniques for proper operation, always review how to use your device correctly with your provider to ensure you are managing your COPD the best way possible.
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