Medications for Alpha-1

Medicines for Alpha-1: An Overview

Medicines for Alpha-1 include many medicines used by people with other conditions that affect breathing. These diseases include: Asthma Chronic bronchitis Emphysema Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) Bronchiectasis (damaged airways or bronchial tubes) Your medicines may come in pills, capsules, mists, and powders. How medicines for Alpha-1 work Medicines prescribed for lung disease work in…

Read more

Medications for Alpha-1

Cough Medicine: Expectorants Versus Cough Suppressants

Expectorants and some cough suppressants can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription. But with so many options on the shelves, how do you know which cough medicine to buy? Knowing the difference between expectorants and cough suppressants may help you decide. Expectorants Expectorants thin the mucus blocking the air tubes leading to your lungs. This…

Read more

Medications for Alpha-1

Alternative Medicines and Alpha-1

You may hear claims about the potential health benefits of alternative medicines, like herbal and vitamin supplements, or homeopathic medicines. Many people think “natural” remedies sold in “health food stores” are risk-free. But that’s not always the case. Unlike prescription drugs, “complementary” or “alternative” medicines aren’t reviewed and tested by the FDA (Food and Drug…

Read more

Medications for Alpha-1

PDE Inhibitors (Theophylline and Roflumilast)

Theophylline and roflumilast are PDE inhibitors. That means they belong to the phosphodiesterase inhibitor family. Medicines like these have been used as bronchodilators for over 100 years. (Bronchodilators help you breathe better by opening up your airways. Using them makes it easier to get air in and out of your lungs. That can help you…

Read more

Medications for Alpha-1

Influenza Treatments

When it comes to influenza (or the flu), it’s better to prevent it than to treat it. You can do your best to avoid the flu by getting an annual flu shot (influenza vaccine). But, flu shots don’t eliminate your risk entirely, because vaccines don’t cover every strain of the flu. Fortunately, these medicines fight…

Read more

Medications for Alpha-1

Oral Corticosteroids (OCS)

Don’t confuse the oral corticosteroids (OCS) you take for lung disease with the anabolic steroids that some athletes use to increase muscle mass. Corticosteroids are the strongest medicines you can take to treat severe obstructive lung disease and many other conditions that cause inflammation. OCS are similar to hormones produced primarily by the adrenal glands, which are…

Read more

Medications for Alpha-1

Inhaled Corticosteroids (ICS)

Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) decrease inflammation and flare-ups, and are effective in treating COPD and asthma-like symptoms. Corticosteroids taken orally or given by injection can be life-saving. But, they can also produce serious side effects. To reduce these side effects, researchers developed new forms of ICS that you can inhale right into your lungs. You almost…

Read more

Medications for Alpha-1

Inhalers: Your Options and How to Use Them

Alphas with lung disease may use inhaled medicine as part of their treatment program. They use devices called inhalers to take this medicine. Metered dose inhalers (MDIs) deliver a fixed, specific dose each time you use them. Spray-Type Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs) Spray-type MDIs consist of a pressurized canister of medicine in a plastic case…

Read more

Medications for Alpha-1

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are often used to treat severe flare-ups, usually called exacerbations by healthcare providers, in Alphas with COPD. During these flare-ups or exacerbations, you can have increased shortness of breath as well as much more mucus in your lungs that often moves toward yellow and green in color. Doctors warn against using these drugs too…

Read more

Medications for Alpha-1

Anti-Leukotrienes

Your body releases leukotrienes when you come in contact with an allergy trigger. These chemicals cause inflammation (swelling) which narrows your airways. They also cause your body to produce excess mucus and fluid. Anti-leukotrienes block the effect of leukotrienes and help open your airways. People with asthma often take anti-leukotrienes. However, research hasn’t provided evidence…

Read more

Medications for Alpha-1

Mast Cell Stabilizers

You’ll find mast cells in the connective tissue of your nose and lungs. When these cells interact with certain types of antibodies they burst and release chemicals that can trigger asthmatic symptoms. Mast cell stabilizers help prevent unstable cells from bursting. You spray these medicines into your nose to prevent allergies. But, you have to…

Read more

Medications for Alpha-1

Muscarinic Antagonists

Like beta-agonists, muscarinic antagonists are bronchodilators. These are also known as anticholinergics. They open your airways as well as or better than beta-agonists. Firstly, they block nerve impulses that constrict the muscles in your airways. Secondly, they reduce the amount of mucus in your airways. There are two types of muscarinic antagonists: SAMAs are short-acting.

Read more