In the emergency department, what medications are used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

Updated: Aug 15, 2019
  • Author: Paul Kleinschmidt, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Medicines available for ED treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) include beta2-adrenoceptor agonists, anticholinergics, oxygen, methylxanthines, corticosteroids, some newer experimental classes of medication, and, possibly magnesium.

Terbutaline can be considered for patients with such significant exacerbations that they are not moving enough air to take full advantage of nebulizer therapy.


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