COPD inhalers are commonplace in the treatment of COPD. But, understanding which-is-which and what-does-what can sometimes be confusing.
COPD inhalers can contain either a single medication or a combination of medications in one inhaler such as a bronchodilator, a corticosteroid, a combination of bronchodilators or a combination of bronchodilator and corticosteroid.
To follow is a list of the 10 most common COPD inhalers on the market today:
1. AdvairAdvair is a combination of two medications -- fluticasone, a corticosteroid, and salmeterol, a long-acting, beta-agonist bronchodilator. Advair is used for maintenance treatment of COPD. Learn more about the different types of bronchodilators. Discover the pros and cons of corticosteroids as treatment for COPD.
2. SymbicortOriginally used for the treatment of asthma, Symbicort was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in February 2009, for maintenance treatment of COPD. Symbicort contains formotorol, a long-acting, beta-agonist bronchodilator, and budesonide, a corticosteroid. Read more about the FDA Approval of Symbicort for COPD.
Combivent contains two bronchodilators -- albuterol (a beta agonist) and ipratropium, an anticholinergic. Combination bronchodilator inhalers like Combivent, may help increase the bronchodilator effect of the medications, with the same or fewer side effects. Learn more about anticholinergic bronchodilators.
4. PulmicortPulmicort contains budesonide, a corticosteroid which helps reduce inflammation in the airways, making it easier to breathe. Pulmicort is used in maintenance treatment of COPD. Learn more about Pulmicort.
5. SpirivaUsed as maintenance treatment for COPD, Spiriva contains a medication called tiotropium, an anticholinergic bronchodilator. It opens and relaxes the airways, making it easier to breathe. Find out more about how Spiriva helps the COPD patient.
6. ProventilProventil is a rescue inhaler containing albuterol, a short-acting, beta-agonist bronchodilator which helps immediately relax the airways, making it easier to breathe. Proventil is often used for sudden episodes of shortness of breath related to bronchospasm in both asthma and COPD patients. Learn more about Proventil.
7. AtroventAtrovent contains ipratropium, an anticholinergic bronchodilator. It is used as maintenance treatment of COPD. Learn more about Atrovent.
8. BrovanaBrovana is a long-acting beta agonist indicated for long-term, maintenance treatment of bronchoconstriction in patients who have COPD, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It should be taken twice a day; in the morning and in the evening. Brovana is NOT a rescue inhaler, nor does it treat asthma.