Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe chronic lung diseases that cause limitations in lung airflow. COPD affects mainly older people and includes conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It can lead to mild or severe shortness of breath that is not fully reversible with the use of medicines.
After reading this article, pharmacists should be able to:
Competencies (2016) addressed: 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5.
Louise is a 62-year-old female with COPD who was diagnosed more than 10 years ago. She has a 20 pack/year smoking history and has tried to quit smoking many times. She is moderately overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 28, and has mild hypertension and episodic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).
The patient is currently taking a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA)/ long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA). She has had 2 exacerbations in the past 12 months, which were treated with antibiotics and oral steroids. Louise is experiencing breathlessness with an ongoing cough and producing large amounts of sputum. She reports low levels of physical activity due to her symptoms.
Is it time to treat this patient using a stepwise approach COPD to triple therapy?
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