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Recognize COPD Flare-Ups

Recognize COPD Flare-Ups

What are flare-ups of COPD symptoms?

Flare-ups of COPD symptoms are called exacerbations (ig-zas-er-BAY-shuns). These are times when your COPD symptoms are significantly worse than usual. Some symptoms typical of COPD are:

  • Cough, including a persistent cough that brings up mucus or phlegm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness

During an exacerbation, these symptoms become much worse. Some people also experience changes in the thickness or color of their mucus, and possibly a fever.

COPD exacerbations can be serious events

COPD is classified as mild, moderate, or severe. Exacerbations are described using the same terms, depending on the treatment that is required for you to feel better.

  • With mild COPD exacerbations, patients may use their rescue inhaler more frequently than usual
  • Moderate COPD exacerbations often require a visit to the doctor’s office to be treated with oral steroids or antibiotics
  • Severe COPD exacerbations can lead to hospitalization

People with severe COPD can have exacerbations that are mild, moderate, or severe. However, if your COPD is more severe, exacerbations typically happen more often and are more severe. There are medications that can help reduce your risk of moderate or severe exacerbations.

If you have severe COPD, one DALIRESP tablet, once a day may help you experience fewer exacerbations.

DALIRESP is not a bronchodilator and should not be used for treating sudden breathing problems.
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