Understanding Your Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
(NAPSI)—Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a disease that makes it hard to breathe, affects millions of Americans and is the third leading cause of death in the United States. COPD can be debilitating, and while millions are diagnosed, it is estimated that many suffer from the disease but are unaware they have it. There is no cure for COPD; however, there are treatments and everyday lifestyle changes that can help.
If you or someone you know suffers from COPD, it is important to understand the treatments available, as well as the lifestyle changes that can be undertaken.
Treatments for COPD
If you are diagnosed with COPD, there are a wide range of COPD treatment options available. Two types that are often used include: short-acting bronchodilators, to help relieve sudden COPD symptoms, and long-acting maintenance medicines, like SYMBICORT (budesonide/ formoterol fumarate dihydrate), to help reduce inflammation and ease constriction in your airways.
In addition, vaccines, antibiotics, and a variety of nonmedicinal COPD treatments are also used. For example:
• Pulmonary rehabilitation is a structured program that can reduce symptoms of COPD. Depending on your needs, a pulmonary rehabilitation program might include exercise training, nutrition counseling, and education on special breathing techniques and other means of coping with COPD. Your doctor will know if a program like this is right for you.
• Regular exercise can increase your energy levels, improve your circulation, reduce symptoms, and increase your endurance. Talk to your doctor about how much physical activity and what kinds of activities are best for you. These might be stretching exercises, an aerobic exercise like walking, or exercise aimed at strengthening your muscles.
Of course, you can do many things on your own, like talking to your doctor about stopping smoking and choosing a healthy diet. Colds, the flu, and other respiratory infections cause problems for people with COPD, so it’s important that you do your best to avoid them and consider the appropriate vaccinations.
It is important to maintain an open dialogue about your COPD treatment plan with your doctor. Describe your symptoms and list all medicines you are currently taking as well as any side effects you may be experiencing. Ask what medication may be right for you. And importantly, ask questions if you do not understand something your doctor tells you.
What Are the Benefits of Taking SYMBICORT?
Taken twice daily, SYMBICORT has been shown to help significantly improve lung function, starting within five minutes.† Remember, SYMBICORT will not replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. SYMBICORT combines two medicines to help ease constriction and control inflammation in your airways. SYMBICORT may make a significant difference in breathing.†
† Your results may vary.
Where Can I Learn More?
From talking to your doctor, online at www.MySYMBICORT.com, and by calling (800) 236-9933 (AZ Information Center).
Important Safety Information About SYMBICORT 160/4.5 for COPD
Call your health care provider if you notice any of the following symptoms: change in amount or color of sputum, fever, chills, increased cough, or increased breathing problems. People with COPD may have a higher chance of pneumonia.
SYMBICORT does not replace rescue inhalers for sudden symptoms.
Be sure to tell your health care provider about all your health conditions, including heart conditions or high blood pressure, and all medicines you may be taking. Some patients taking SYMBICORT may experience increased blood pressure, heart rate, or change in heart rhythm.
Do not use SYMBICORT more often than prescribed. While taking SYMBICORT, never use another medicine containing a LABA for any reason. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist if any of your other medicines are LABA medicines, as using too much LABA may cause chest pain, increase in blood pressure, fast and irregular heartbeat, headache, tremor, and nervousness.
Patients taking SYMBICORT should call their health care provider or get emergency medical care:
• if you experience serious allergic reactions including rash, hives, swelling of the face, mouth and tongue, and breathing problems.
• if you think you are exposed to infections such as chicken pox or measles, or if you have any signs of infection. You may have a higher chance of infection.
• if you experience an increase in wheezing right after taking SYMBICORT, eye problems including glaucoma and cataracts, decreases in bone mineral density, swelling of blood vessels (signs include a feeling of pins and needles or numbness of arms or legs, flu-like symptoms, rash, pain, and swelling of the sinuses), decrease in blood potassium, and increase in blood sugar levels.
If you are switching to SYMBICORT from an oral corticosteroid, follow your health care provider’s instructions to avoid serious health risks when you stop using oral corticosteroids.
Common side effects include inflammation of the nasal passages and throat, thrush in the mouth and throat, bronchitis, sinusitis, and upper respiratory tract infection.
Please read Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING, with Medication Guide and discuss with your doctor.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
This information should not take the place of talking with your doctor or health care provider about how to manage and treat your COPD. If you have any questions about your condition, or if you would like more information about SYMBICORT or COPD, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Only you and your doctor can decide if SYMBICORT is right for you.
This product information is intended for U.S. customers only.
SYMBICORT is a registered trademark of the AstraZeneca group of companies.
©2012 AstraZeneca. All rights reserved. 2316802. Last Updated 1/13.