To illustrate the similarities and differences in the treatment of asthma and COPD.
To explain whether the response to bronchodilators in asthma and COPD predicts prognosis and response to other interventions.
To assist in therapeutic choices for asthmatic and COPD patients.
Summary Bronchodilators, inhaled corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory agents form the basis of treatment to control the symptoms and progression of asthma and COPD. However, although the armoury of medications used for the two conditions is largely similar, the goals and targets of therapy are different. In fact, owing to their different mechanisms of development, the two diseases are regarded quite differently. Therefore, the two require different pharmacological treatments. In general, therapy for asthma is targeted at reducing inflammation, whereas for COPD it is directed at relief of symptoms. In this article, the pharmacological treatment of asthma and COPD, based on recently updated guidelines, is described.
- ©ERS 2009