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Medications for COPD

Other names: Chronic Bronchitis; Chronic Obstructive Airway Disease; Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Emphysema

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Feb 19, 2024.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a long-term respiratory condition that often requires several different medications to control it, such as bronchodilators (short-acting or long-acting), corticosteroids, mucolytics, or antibiotics.

Types of bronchodilators include beta2-agonists and anticholinergics and examples include:

Corticosteroids

In addition to bronchodilators, anti-inflammatory medications, notably inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), play a role in COPD management. While not typically recommended as a standalone treatment, ICS are often prescribed in combination therapy for those with moderate to severe COPD.

Other Medications

For individuals with severe airway limitations, persistent symptoms, high blood eosinophil counts, or a history of exacerbations, healthcare providers may recommend triple therapy. This involves combining an ICS, a LABA, and a LAMA into a single medication. An example is fluticasone/vilanterol/umeclidinium (Trelegy Ellipta).

Exacerbations, characterized by increased coughing, mucus production, and shortness of breath, may require antibiotics or steroids, for example: 

COPD patients should stay current on their vaccinations, including flu, COVID-19, and pneumonia shots (Prevnar 13, Pneumovax 23).

Drugs used to treat COPD

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

Filter
Drug name Rating Reviews Activity ? Rx/OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol
Symbicort 7.5 47 reviews for Symbicort to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
budesonide / formoterol systemic
Drug class:
bronchodilator combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
Trelegy Ellipta 6.9 166 reviews for Trelegy Ellipta to treat COPD
Rx N
Generic name:
fluticasone / umeclidinium / vilanterol systemic
Drug class:
bronchodilator combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
prednisone 7.4 16 reviews for prednisone to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
prednisone systemic
Brand name:
Rayos
Drug class:
glucocorticoids
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information
montelukast 7.5 11 reviews for montelukast to treat COPD
Rx B N
Generic name:
montelukast systemic
Drug class:
leukotriene modifiers
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information
Breztri Aerosphere 7.4 30 reviews for Breztri Aerosphere to treat COPD
Rx N X
Generic name:
budesonide / formoterol / glycopyrrolate systemic
Drug class:
bronchodilator combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
fluticasone / umeclidinium / vilanterol 6.8 169 reviews for fluticasone / umeclidinium / vilanterol to treat COPD
Rx N
Generic name:
fluticasone / umeclidinium / vilanterol systemic
Brand name:
Trelegy Ellipta
Drug class:
bronchodilator combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
AHFS DI Monograph
Anoro Ellipta 6.9 57 reviews for Anoro Ellipta to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
umeclidinium / vilanterol systemic
Drug class:
bronchodilator combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
budesonide / formoterol / glycopyrrolate 7.4 30 reviews for budesonide / formoterol / glycopyrrolate to treat COPD
Rx N X
Generic name:
budesonide / formoterol / glycopyrrolate systemic
Brand name:
Breztri Aerosphere
Drug class:
bronchodilator combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
Breo Ellipta 6.8 37 reviews for Breo Ellipta to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
fluticasone / vilanterol systemic
Drug class:
bronchodilator combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
Daliresp 7.7 45 reviews for Daliresp to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
roflumilast systemic
Drug class:
selective phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
budesonide / formoterol 7.5 48 reviews for budesonide / formoterol to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
budesonide / formoterol systemic
Brand names:
Symbicort, Breyna
Drug class:
bronchodilator combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
Stiolto Respimat 6.4 34 reviews for Stiolto Respimat to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
olodaterol / tiotropium systemic
Drug class:
bronchodilator combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
Incruse Ellipta 3.1 23 reviews for Incruse Ellipta to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
umeclidinium systemic
Drug class:
anticholinergic bronchodilators
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
Tudorza Pressair 9.0 15 reviews for Tudorza Pressair to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
aclidinium systemic
Drug class:
anticholinergic bronchodilators
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
Rayos 10 1 review for Rayos to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
prednisone systemic
Drug class:
glucocorticoids
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
levalbuterol 8.5 5 reviews for levalbuterol to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
levalbuterol systemic
Brand names:
Xopenex, Xopenex HFA, Xopenex Concentrate
Drug class:
adrenergic bronchodilators
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
albuterol Rate Add review
Rx C N
Generic name:
albuterol systemic
Drug class:
adrenergic bronchodilators
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information
aclidinium 9.0 15 reviews for aclidinium to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
aclidinium systemic
Brand name:
Tudorza Pressair
Drug class:
anticholinergic bronchodilators
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
AHFS DI Monograph
fluticasone / vilanterol 6.8 37 reviews for fluticasone / vilanterol to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
fluticasone / vilanterol systemic
Brand name:
Breo Ellipta
Drug class:
bronchodilator combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
roflumilast 7.8 51 reviews for roflumilast to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
roflumilast systemic
Brand name:
Daliresp
Drug class:
selective phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information
Xopenex 10 2 reviews for Xopenex to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
levalbuterol systemic
Drug class:
adrenergic bronchodilators
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
Bevespi Aerosphere 7.5 5 reviews for Bevespi Aerosphere to treat COPD
Rx N X
Generic name:
formoterol / glycopyrrolate systemic
Drug class:
bronchodilator combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information
umeclidinium / vilanterol 6.8 58 reviews for umeclidinium / vilanterol to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
umeclidinium / vilanterol systemic
Brand name:
Anoro Ellipta
Drug class:
bronchodilator combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
AHFS DI Monograph
olodaterol / tiotropium 6.3 37 reviews for olodaterol / tiotropium to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
olodaterol / tiotropium systemic
Brand name:
Stiolto Respimat
Drug class:
bronchodilator combinations
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
Striverdi Respimat 4.6 5 reviews for Striverdi Respimat to treat COPD
Rx C N
Generic name:
olodaterol systemic
Drug class:
adrenergic bronchodilators
For consumers:
dosage, interactions, side effects
For professionals:
Prescribing Information

Frequently asked questions

View more FAQ

Topics under COPD

Legend

Rating For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).
Activity Activity is based on recent site visitor activity relative to other medications in the list.
Rx Prescription only.
OTC Over-the-counter.
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over-the-counter.
Off-label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
EUA An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a declared public health emergency when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.
Expanded Access Expanded Access is a potential pathway for a patient with a serious or immediately life-threatening disease or condition to gain access to an investigational medical product (drug, biologic, or medical device) for treatment outside of clinical trials when no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy options are available.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
M The drug has multiple schedules. The schedule may depend on the exact dosage form or strength of the medication.
U CSA Schedule is unknown.
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.