In order to best manage your COPD symptoms, your doctor might recommend medication in an inhaler to relax the muscles around your airways, causing them to open so breathing is easier. A short-acting bronchodilator can be taken as needed, before activities, or in case of emergencies. Or, you might be prescribed a long-acting bronchodilator to use daily. Depending on your COPD symptoms, your physician may suggest you take inhaled steroids to help control exacerbations or a combination of steroids and the bronchodilator medications.
When you pick up your bronchodilator, inhaled steroid, or any prescription medication at the pharmacy counter, make sure you ask the pharmacist how to assemble it, use it, and discuss best practices for your medications.
It can be tempting to bypass conversations with your pharmacist and say that 'I'm okay,' when a cashier rings you up and asks if you have any questions. But it's important to take a few extra minutes to request a demonstration of how to use the bronchodilator and chat with the pharmacist.