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10 Rules For Determining What Medicine Works Best For You

There are many COPD medicines currently on the market. There will also be many new ones entering the market in the near and distant future. So, how do you decide which ones work best for you?

Here are 10 rules to follow:

1. Begin the discussion by talking with your doctor

Your doctor will probably have a preference as to which inhaler(s) will work best for you. But, good doctors will also consider your opinion. In either case, any new inhalers will require a prescription from your doctor.

2. Take your medicine exactly as prescribed

I’m sure most of you know this and do this already, but I just had to throw this in there. In order for a medicine to work, it must first be taken properly.

3. It’s all about trial and error

Your doctor will recommend initial inhalers to try. If they work for you, great. If not, there are many other inhalers worth trying. So, finding out which inhaler works best for you is often determined by trial and error. Your doctor recommends an inhaler. You try it to see if it works. If it works, great! If not, then it’s time to talk to your doctor. It’s time to go back to rule #1.

4. Be patient

Give the medicine time to work. It often takes several days for medicine to get into your system and start working. Some medicines take 1-2 weeks to start working. So, it’s important to give the medicine some time. Be patient. But, don’t be too patient. Call your doctor if your COPD gets worse. Anytime you’re having a flare-up, it’s important to follow your COPD Action Plan.

5. Call your doctor if you are worried about your symptoms

Call your doctor if your symptoms change or get worse. This is something always to keep in mind when you have COPD. Don’t wait too long for your new medicine to take effect. The sooner you seek help the easier it is to fix you. Once your flare-up is resolved, your doctor may have you continue with the new medicine, or try something else.

6. Call your doctor if you experience side effects

Side effects of most inhalers are considered negligible. But, sometimes they do occur. If you experience symptoms you think are caused by your inhaler, let your doctor know. He (She) may ease your mind that it’s not caused by the inhaler. Or, he (she) may have you try another inhaler.

7. Remember that every COPDer is different

Every person has unique genes. Every person is unique. This means that what works for one COPDer may not work for another. So, it’s important to keep this in mind when trying new medicines. If your friend says an inhaler works great for them, it may work great for you too. But, there’s also a chance you may not like it. So, this is another thing to consider when trying new medicines.

8. Do your own research

As noted above, a friend may recommend a new inhaler. You may also learn about a new inhaler on TV or through your readings. It’s always neat to learn about new medicines. If what you’re presently using is working great, then it may be best to keep things as they are. But, if you think you might benefit from a new treatment, ask your doctor about it. Your doctor may say, “No. I don’t like that idea.” But, your doctor may say, “Sure. Let’s try it and see if it works.” So, often discussions with your doctor begin with the research you do on your own.

9. Stay open-minded about trying new medicines

It’s normal for people to develop habits. Your breathing is doing good, so you become stubborn to trying new things. As an asthmatic, I have had this happen to me. But, sometimes, there’s a new medicine that might help you breathe even easier. So, don’t close your mind too tight to trying something new. Who knows, you might find that something new is the key to breathing easier.

10. Don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t work

Many times I have tried new medicine only to find out I don’t feel any better. Or, sometimes I was unhappy with a side effect. So, it’s easy to get frustrated. But it’s best not to. If it isn’t’ working, it’s time to refer back to rule #1.


So, these are just some basic rules to follow on your course to finding what medicines work best for you. As usual, when all else fails, refer to rule #1.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.