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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 75-80

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: An evidence-based update

Department of Intensive Care, College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Abdullah Alshimemeri
Department of Intensive Care Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-0521.117910

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The use of bronchodilators represents the cornerstone drug management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and the employed bronchodilating agents include β2 -adrenergic agonists, anticholinergic agents, and the methylxanthines. Combination therapy combining bronchodilating agents with differing durations of action and from different classes provides greater symptomatic improvement and reduced risk of adverse drug effects. As a result of the observed tendency to precipitate steroid myopathy, oral glucocorticosteroids are not recommended for long-term use in COPD management, but the adjunctive use of inhaled forms in cases of COPD stages III and IV reduces the frequency of exacerbations and improves the patient's quality of life. The absence of medications modifying the lung function decline, a major hallmark describing the course of COPD, necessarily implies that drug management involves an amelioration of COPD symptoms. Preventive approach to COPD management involves measures aimed at reducing individuals' exposure to tobacco smoke and other airborne pollutants; measures geared towards smoking cessation is the most efficacious way of halting the progression of COPD.

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