- Understanding COPD Slideshow
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Quiz
- Energy Foods for COPD Slideshow Pictures
- Bronchitis FAQs
- Patient Comments: Chronic Bronchitis - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Bronchitis - Experience
- Patient Comments: Chronic Bronchitis - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Acute Bronchitis - Symptoms
- Find a local Pulmonologist in your town
- Bronchitis vs. chronic bronchitis definition and facts
- What is bronchitis?
- What is acute bronchitis?
- What are the symptoms of acute bronchitis?
- What is chronic bronchitis?
- What are the causes of chronic bronchitis?
- What are the risk factors for chronic bronchitis?
- What are the signs and symptoms of chronic bronchitis?
- When should an person seek medical care for chronic bronchitis?
- How is chronic bronchitis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for chronic bronchitis?
- What drugs treat chronic bronchitis exacerbations?
- What are the complications of chronic bronchitis?
- Can chronic bronchitis be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for chronic bronchitis?
Quick GuideBronchitis Symptoms and Treatments
What drugs treat chronic bronchitis exacerbations?
PDE4 inhibitors are a class of anti-inflammatory agents for certain exacerbations of COPD. They are primarily for exacerbations that involve excessive bronchitis and mucus production. There is currently only one agent available called roflumilast (Daliresp), a pill taken once per day.
Antibiotics: Occasionally, antibiotics are used to treat chronic bronchitis exacerbations caused by bacterial infections. Broad spectrum antibiotics are often the choice. Examples include:
- Fluoroquinolones (levofloxacin [Levaquin])
- Macrolides (clarithromycin [Biaxin], azithromycin [Zithromax, Zmax])
- Sulfonamides (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim [Bactrim])
- Tetracyclines (doxycycline [Vibramycin])
Of course, if a culture is obtained, directed therapy at the specific offending organism is always best.
What are other treatments for chronic bronchitis?
- Pulmonary rehabilitation is another treatment method that combines education and graded physical exercise. The education portion often includes smoking cessation techniques and the relationship of tobacco use to symptoms. Breathing techniques can be very helpful in overcoming the anxiety and discomfort of exacerbations. When chronic bronchitis is severe, airflow and blood flow may not move appropriately through the lungs. It is crucial for lung function that airflow and blood flow to the lung are precisely matched. When they are not, drops in oxygen and increases in carbon dioxide can result with profound negative consequences.
- Supplemental oxygen therapy may be an integral part of treatment. Often it is required with activity and sleep. Patients with severe disease may benefit from purchasing a small finger oximeter for monitoring blood oxygen levels at rest and with activity.
- Certain "home remedies" may ease the symptoms of chronic bronchitis. Cold air often aggravates coughing and dyspnea, so avoiding cold air or wearing a cold-air mask (such as a ski mask or face scarf) may help when in cold environments. Dry air also aggravates coughing so warm, humidified air may help by reducing coughing and also may allow mucus to flow more freely, which may result in better clearing of the bronchial airways and less blockage by viscous mucus. One of the lessons of pulmonary rehabilitation is to instruct patients on the proper path for air to follow. This involves breathing in through the nose so that the air is moistened, cleansed, and warmed by the function of the upper airways (sinuses). Air is than expelled through the mouth and in some cases with pursed lips to help optimize the lung's function.
- Over-the-counter (OTC) cough suppressants such as dextromethorphan (for example, Pertussin, Vicks 44 or Benylin) may be helpful in reducing cough symptoms. OTC preparations with guaifenesin (for example, Robitussin or Mucinex) may make patients feel more comfortable but there is no scientific evidence that it helps mucus to become less viscous.
- Alternative treatments have been suggested by some individuals with little or no evidence of any benefit; and some may even be harmful (for example, herbal teas, high doses of vitamin C, South African geranium herb, eucalyptus oil inhalation therapy, and many others); it is advisable to check with the health care professional before using any of these remedies or products.