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Boggio Family of Pharmacies

Boggios: A healthy choice for your whole life

Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease are two conditions which don’t get much attention in the media, however they affect millions of people.

For asthma sufferers, education about their disease is paramount.  Many patients falsely believe their asthma is under control.  If patients need to use their rescue inhaler more than three times a week, or have night time awakenings with shortness of breath or cough, their symptoms are not under control.  Treatment for this may involve an increase in dose of their steroid inhaler.  Some patients are concerned about increasing their steroid dose.  There is little systemic absorption from steroid inhalers; the main side effect is thrush from deposition of the steroid in the mouth.  Steroid inhalers should be used regularly as opposed to as needed for better control of the disease.

Although AeroChambers are not covered by insurance they are worth the cost (about $45.00).  It is difficult to coordinate the action of inhaling and spraying the metered dose inhaler.  Children and the elderly can especially benefit from the use of an AeroChamber.  Please come in to the pharmacy if you are an asthma sufferer for an explanation on how to use them.

Peak Flow meters are another device that severe asthma sufferers might benefit from.  This is a device which helps to gage if a patient’s asthma is under control.

COPD is typically a disease that affects patients who have smoked or been exposed to second hand smoke.  COPD encompasses emphysema and chronic bronchitis.  There is no curing of this disease but patients can slow the worsening of their symptoms.

The most important first step is to quit smoking.  There is a new medication on the market called Champix which is having much success, please come in and talk to a pharmacist if you are interested in learning about this medication.

COPD symptoms can also be controlled by proper use of inhalers.  Typically patients with COPD will be on three different inhalers.  The first is usually Ventolin to help with shortness of breath and coughing.  The second will be a combination inhaler that contains a steroid and an ingredient to keep the airways open.  The third inhaler is usually Spiriva.  This inhaler if used regularly helps to slow the progression of the disease.  Although patients may not notice much benefit from the combination inhaler and Spiriva, they should use them consistently and on a regular basis.  Doing so will help to reduce flare ups and worsening of the disease.

COPD patients should continue as much exercise as they are able to tolerate, and to ask their doctor for a prescription for prophylactic antibiotics and steroids.  Often patients can develop a chest infection while their doctor is away or over the weekend.  If they can start the antibiotics as soon as possible it may help prevent hospitalizations.

Pharmacists can provide a great deal of education and advice for patients with COPD and asthma.  Please come in and talk to us if you have any questions about asthma or COPD.


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