Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a type of obstructive lung disease, an umbrella diagnosis that also includes asthma. The two types of COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The general underlying cause of obstructive lung disease is a narrowing of airways that results in decreased airflow and difficulty with respiration. Pharmacologic approaches to obstructive lung diseases generally have a common goal of improving air flow and expiration by doing one of three things: increasing diameter of the airways, reducing inflammation, or clearing the mucus that causes obstructions.
However, asthma has additional components of management. Asthma is often exacerbated by allergens and triggers. Therefore, we will also discuss specific drugs that prevent allergic reactions in patients with asthma.
After listening to this AudioBrick, you should be able to:
- Briefly review the features of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema and chronic bronchitis).1
- List the classes of drugs that are used in the treatment of asthma, and describe their indications, mechanisms, and adverse effects.2
- List the classes of drugs that are used in the treatment of emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and describe their indications, mechanisms, and adverse effects.
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