For many patients, the treatment of COPD may be as simple as stopping smoking. For those who are experiencing greater levels of difficulty and discomfort, there are several COPD treatment options available. These used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle can help the patient lead a normal, active lifestyle while effectively controlling their symptoms and avoiding any exacerbations. Physicians are able to provide information and recommendations on available drugs, as well as, nicotine replacement products that will aid in smoking cessation.

Top COPD Treatment Options:

  • Stopping smoking is considered the first step on the treatment path.
  • Bronchodilators can be very effective treatment.
  • Inhaled steroids are useful to treatment.
  • Combination inhalers are sometimes used.
  • Oral steroids are used for patients in short courses.

Stopping Smoking

It is widely believed that the most effective treatment for COPD is for the patient to quit smoking. For many, this may be the only necessary treatment course needed. Stopping smoking, however, is very difficult for most people. A doctor will be able to guide the patient on the available products that can assist. While the withdrawal period is difficult, advances in medicine in recent years have developed a number of products that ease the associated cravings.


  • Stopping smoking is an effective treatment for COPD.
  • Doctors can assist patients with advice on available products to ease cravings.
  • There are a wide range of smoking cessation products on the market today.


Bronchodilators are inhalers that infuse medicines designed to relax the airways and make breathing easier. These inhaler COPD medications are available as both short acting and long term models. For some patients, they may need the benefits of a short acting inhaler prior to any strenuous activity. Others will need the long lasting benefits of an inhaler that is used on a daily basis. The doctor will help each patient understand what their needs are.


  • Bronchodilators use medicines that help relax a person’s airways.
  • They can make breathing easier.
  • Bronchodilators are available in short acting and long term models.

Inhaled Steroids

Physicians also recommend an inhalation of corticoid steroids to treat their patients with COPD. These are designed to reduce the inflammation of the patient’s airways and make breathing easier. They are not without side effects, though. Some patients have reported hoarseness and infections in their mouth following treatment.


  • Inhaled corticoid steroids are sometimes used to treat patients with COPD.
  • Inhales steroids reduce the inflammation of the patient’s airways and make breathing easier.
  • Some patients have reported side effects including hoarseness and infections following treatment.

Combination Inhalers

Another treatment option is the use of an inhaler that combines the medicines in bronchodilators and inhaled steroids. Fluticasone and formoterol are sold under the brand names Advair and Symbicourt respectively.

Oral Steroids

Lastly, oral steroids are used in short courses for some patients. There is some concern about the long term use of these products. Also, there are numerous side effects associated with oral steroids. While the recommended length of treatment with this method is only five days, patients are at a higher risk of weight gain, osteoporosis, cataracts and diabetes. Even though there are potential risks associated with this type of treatment, it can be very effective for many patients. All medications should be taken under the direction of a physician.


  • Oral steroids are used in short courses to treat some patients.
  • There are health concerns associated with the long term use of these medicines.
  • Some side effects include a risk of weight gain, osteoporosis, cataracts and diabetes.


For many patients, the treatment plan for patients with COPD may be as simple as the patient quitting smoking. For others, inhalers or inhalers that include steroids may be the better option. The bottom line is that there are a variety of treatment options available to meet the needs of a wide range of patients. It is very important that all treatment options be discussed with a physician who will also guide how the treatment is delivered. Many treatment options have side effects and risks associated with them. While they can be very effective with the proper guidance, the effects can be harmful if directions are not closely monitored. As mentioned, most patients live long, healthy and active lifestyles even after the diagnosis of COPD.