Indexed on: 02 Sep '06Published on: 02 Sep '06Published in: Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy
In 2002, an estimated 11.2 million adults in the United States had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Guidelines for the management of the disease have been published by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) and the American Thoracic Society-European Respiratory Society. Several other organizations are in the process of preparing guidelines for COPD, most based on the GOLD report. The most important pharmacologic intervention in COPD is treatment with bronchodilator drugs. This intervention applies not only to stable COPD, but also to exacerbations (flares) of the disease. Prevention strategies have been developed for acute exacerbations, and management strategies include using short-acting beta(2)-agonists, systemic corticosteroids, and antibiotics, in both at home and hospital settings.