British Lung Foundation
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Is there a specific treatment for Copd ?

Because I have Asthma I have used 2 inhalers.. Emphysema was diagnosed 2 years ago .. Only now have they started giving me Spiriva . I was very ill last year , couldn't breath very well , yet they never gave me anything. Yesterday , the copd nurse told me they didn't have any proof I had Emphysema and would need a chest x-ray... I told what hospital had diagnosed this... she then ' found' it on the system and prescribed the Spiriva..... This has made me wonder if all this time I could have had better treatment

9 Replies

Firstly I would suggest you ring the BLF helpline - they can give you really good advise with regards to what treatment you should be on, what to ask the doctors etc.

There are a number of different treaments for COPD in the form, mainly, of inhalers. My husband was diagnosed about 8 years ago and probably has only had the Spiriva in the last 3. Spiriva is a one day inhaler which opens the airways for 24 hours. He also uses Symbicort - 2 puffs twice a day and ventolin as a preventor (but this gives him dreadful cramps). Also uses a nebuliser with salbutamol and saline (not at the same time!) when he needs it, usually during an exacerbation. He also has rescue medication at home - antibiotics and steroids to take as soon as he suspects a chest infection.

The best advise I could give you is to keep asking about treatment, what options are available etc. Take good care of yourself. Good Luck TAD xx


Thanks Tad xx I was shocked they have only just found it on their system. Last year alone I was on 6 different lots of Anti-biotics and not once did they offer anything to help my breathing !!! bounders :O


I was not put on Spiriva at first the consultant waited until my condition was severe enough, very much as Tad has described tailoring with each needing a treatment at different stages.

Calling the helpline nurses helps understand changing inhalers.


Interesting that you say "...the consultant waited until my condition was severe enough..." as that's good practise. As keeps being mentioned, we are all different, and treatment must be decided on a one-to-one basis according to the needs of the patient.

I know we discuss our meds on here and one person will be using something another does not have which leads to them wanting to know why. Waiting until the condition is severe enough is a very good explanation of this. People here will be at many different stages of lung disease and it's a simple as not being in need of some of the treatments - yet.

As mentioned, a chat with the BLF helpline nurse can help review what meds are being used and suggestions made on what to say to the GP if they need changing. 03000 030 555 M-F 10-6 :)


Hi angela12345 . Have you had a CT scan ? Xrays do not really show emphysema.


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C.O.P.D treatments vary, in as much that when you are snookered there are many paths to the object ball, there can be obstacles in the way such as side effects that can come into play, depending on circumstances, each person has to play their own shot,

too many factors to generalise as to specifics, each frame is different.

make sure to chalk your tip and try to keep the white out of the pocket


Hello Puff, yes , they were doing lots of tests on me because of something totally un related . Then told me this at y appointment a few weeks later


Exercise is one of the best medicines for emphysema. Try and get on a pulmonary rehab course.


Thanks very much puffthemagicdragon. I am going to start making enquiries ;0


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