Author | Thomas E. Lawrie, MD

Articles

New Treatments for Early and Late COPD: Part 1, Prevention

December 31, 2006

ABSTRACT: The key factor in reducing morbidityand mortality in patients with chronicobstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)continues to be smoking cessation. Newerformulations of nicotine replacementtherapy-a nasal spray and an inhaler-provide rapid delivery of nicotine and maybe appropriate for highly dependent smokers.Bupropion has been shown to improvesmoking cessation rates, either when usedalone or with a nicotine patch. Both theinfluenza and pneumococcal vaccines arerecommended to reduce the morbidity andmortality associated with respiratory infectionsin patients with COPD.

COPD: How to Manage Early and Late Disease

December 01, 2006

The goals of therapy in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are to ameliorate symptoms, improve daily function, preserve lung function, identify and reduce exacerbations and, if possible, decrease mortality. A comprehensiveapproach that includes prevention, early identification, and pharmacotherapy-and oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, and/or surgery when appropriate-can optimize patient outcomes.

Management of COPD: What's New, What's Next

January 01, 2004

Bronchodilators, preferably inhaled, are recommended for all patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; ipratropium, with a 6- to 8-hour duration of action, is effective maintenance therapy. Tiotropium is currently being reviewed by the FDA for release in the United States; its once-daily dosing schedule may facilitate adherence. Criteria for long-term oxygen therapy are severe hypoxemia (PaO2, 55 mm Hg or lower) or a PaO2 of 60 mm Hg or lower with signs of cor pulmonale or secondary polycythemia (hematocrit higher than 55%). When symptoms are disabling despite optimal medical management, referral for pulmonary rehabilitation is the next step. Patients with upper lobe-predominant emphysema and low exercise capacity may benefit most from lung volume reduction surgery. Consider transplantation if the patient has severe lung disease that is refractory to medical therapy and survival is expected to be less than 2 to 3 years.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: New Treatments Against an Old Foe

January 01, 2004

The key factor in reducing morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) continues to be smoking cessation. Newer formulations of nicotine replacement therapy-a nasal spray and an inhaler-provide rapid delivery of nicotine and may be appropriate for highly dependent smokers. Bupropion has been shown to improve smoking cessation rates, either when used alone or with a nicotine patch. Both the influenza and pneumococcal vaccines are recommended to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with respiratory infections in patients with COPD.