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COPD, Stages And Management With Combivent Inhaler

07.12.17 Posted By admin admin

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella lung condition that involves emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis, this disease is progressive and is characterized by increasing resistance to air flow. COPD is a very prevalent disorder that has affected millions worldwide and can be associated with smoking. The obstructed airflow makes breathing difficult and a person chokes from time to time with even regular activities like walking up a few stairs or even changing clothes. COPD can be fatal in severe cases. COPD is classified into four stages from mild to very severe or end-stage COPD.

GOLD Staging System and the BODE Index are two very commonly used ways through which this classification is made.  As per the GOLD System, the FEV1 or forced expiratory volume in one second is the basis for classification though other symptoms can also be considered by your doctor. The BODE index focuses on dyspnea (difficulty breathing), airflow resistance and work out capacity. This index allows doctors to understand the impact COPD is having on your life and what effects it may have if it worsens.

The Stages of COPD:

  • Mild COPD or Stage 1: The FEV1 is about 80 percent.
  • Moderate COPD or Stage: The FEV1 is between 50 and 80 percent.
  • Severe COPD or Stage 3: The FEV1 between 30 and 50 percent indicating severe Emphysema.
  • Very Severe COPD or Stage 4: The FEV1 is even lower than Stage 3.

Mild Stage COPD:

The symptoms are not very evident yet and people may not recognize the problem as they can continue with daily life with a little hindrance.  Some people experience a cough and phlegm.

Moderate Stage COPD:

The coughing and mucus production increases. The need for a medical care arises and COPD is often diagnosed at this stage. You may be recommended a pulmonary rehabilitation and will be kept on bronchodilators.

Severe Stage COPD:

Quality of life is much degraded, the progression continues and breathing gets difficult. A person going through this may feel fatigue and may have difficulty walking or climbing stairs.

Very Severe COPD:

Often termed as End-stage COPD, in this case, the breathing problems may get life-threatening and you may start to feel other complications of hypoxia or hypoxemia, cyanosis, and other problems.

Treatment with Combivent:

Combivent is an inhalation therapy which is widely used for the management of COPD and to stop the progression of the disease. This drug is relied upon by leading respiratory practitioner and the drug has better effects when it comes to managing COPD, it is also used in Asthma. It is an inhaler, so it specifically targets the affected area and reaches there to perform its functions. It is a combination therapy which contains Albuterol and Ipratropium as its chief pharma ingredient for bringing about bronchodilation. 

Ipratropium belongs to the anticholinergic class of drugs that works by blocking the muscarinic receptors; this blockade leads to a decreased formation of cGMP which by affecting the calcium ions, decreases the contractility of muscles. Albuterol is a beta 2 agonist category medication and it acts as a bronchodilator which will open up the airway for breathing.

Combivent is a metered dose inhaler, which means each dose has specific drug content that will inhale with each puff. The most used dose for the management of COPD is 100 mcg/20 mcg, one puff of metered-dose inhaler taken every 6hour. Do not take more than 6 actuations in a day. The dosing provided is not an alternative to the doctor's prescription.

The mode of administration of this medication is as follows. Empty your lungs by breathing out fully before inhaling this medication. Shake the inhaler and fire four puffs in the air if you are using it for the first time, cover the mouthpiece with your lips and breathe in slow and deep as soon as you actuate the dose. Hold your breath for 10 seconds and breathe out. Rinse or gargle after taking the dose. 

Some side effects that follow this therapy are difficult urination, chest pain, cough, or a runny nose. These side effects, however, sneezing, sore throat, headache, affect only a few of the patients.

Notable precautionary measures:

  • Unless asked by your doctor, do not take any other medication along with this product.  
  • Seek immediate medical care if this medication does not seem to be improving your condition.
  • Overuse of this medication can be extremely dangerous, follow your doctor's prescription very strictly."

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