COPD & Over-the-Counter Pain Meds

COPD & Over-the-Counter Pain Meds

COPD & Over-the-Counter Pain Meds

“Several studies have found high rates of pain medication use among COPD patients, and pain has also been an important determinant of overall health status and quality of life in COPD,” senior research associate, Melissa Roberts at the Lovelace Clinic Foundation in Albuquerque, NM, said in an American Thoracic Society news release.

Researchers determined pain levels among study participants by reviewing diagnostic codes and pain medication prescriptions in their medical records. Studies found that COPD patients have more indicators of chronic pain and use more prescription pain medications than patients without chronic disease.

“We found the prevalence of chronic pain among adults with chronic disease to be almost twice as high as among individuals without chronic disease,” Roberts said. “Among those with chronic disease, individuals with COPD were similar to those with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis in their experience of pain, but with even greater use of opioids.”

What about over-the-counter meds?

COPD is a lung disease, and although it doesn’t cause lung pain directly, it can cause chest pain due to factors such as coughing. Pain management can be overlooked for reasons such as a patient’s reluctance to adequately communicate their pain or due to all-too-common financial constraints on acquiring pain meds.

If you find you need to take over-the-counter meds to manage COPD-related pain, there are basically two types of over-the-counter pain relievers – acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Acetaminophen is an active ingredient in more than 600 medicines, including pain relievers, cough suppressants and cold medications. It’s important to understand that taking a higher dose than recommended will not provide more relief and can be dangerous.

Acetaminophen overdose can lead to liver damage and death. Risk for liver damage may be increased in people who drink three or more alcoholic beverages a day while using acetaminophen-containing medicines. Read and follow the directions on the label every time you use a medicine.

NSAIDs are common medications used to relieve minor aches and pains and to reduce fever. They include aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen and many medicines taken for colds, sinus pressure and allergies. NSAIDs act by inhibiting an enzyme that helps make a specific chemical.

NSAID overdose can cause stomach bleeding. This risk is higher in people who are over 60 years old, taking prescription blood thinners or steroids, have a history of stomach bleeding or ulcers and/or have other bleeding problems.

Using NSAIDs can cause reversible kidney damage. This risk may also increase in people over 60, in those taking a diuretic (a drug that increases the excretion of urine), and people with high blood pressure, heart disease, or pre-existing kidney disease.

Using over-the-counter pain meds too often can make your body immune to their effects. For this reason, the Get Relief Responsibly® advises against taking pain relievers more than twice per week. If you’re in constant or excessive pain associated with COPD, ask your physician about pain management.

Alternative Methods for Alleviating Pain

  • Practice breathing exercises (meditation, yoga)
  • Drink peppermint tea
  • Get more sleep
  • Avoid sleeping in
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid COPD triggers (smoke, chemicals, dust)

We Can Help

If you or someone you love has COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), ILD (Interstitial lung disease), emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, or another chronic lung disorder, call us today at 866-638-4776 and learn more about what our innovative therapy has the potential to do for you. 

Unlike traditional treatments that often mask the symptoms of lung disorders, the goal of our innovative cellular therapy is to help manage symptoms and potentially improve overall lung health and quality of life. Our integrated wellness approach has the potential to improve overall lung health and to offer a better quality  of life. 

Our dedicated team of Patient Care Specialists and Board-Certified Medical Providers are standing by to answer all your questions. 

Medical Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this article. We strive for 100% accuracy, but errors may occur, and medications, protocols, and treatment methods may change over time. 

Lung Infection and COPD: Signs and Symptoms

Lung Infection and COPD: Signs and Symptoms

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive form of lung disease ranging from mild to severe. It is characterized by the obstruction of airflow into and out of the lungs, making breathing difficult. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis both fall under the category of COPD. Lung infection and COPD go hand in hand. A person with COPD has narrowed airways and inflamed air sacs, making him or her more prone to lung infections, which are sometimes referred to as pneumonia. Here are the facts you need to know about lung infection and COPD.

What is a Lung Infection?

Pneumonia, or a lung infection, occurs when bacteria, viruses and sometimes fungi collect in a person’s lungs and begin to grow. This causes the air sacs in the lungs to become filled with pus and liquid, making it more difficult for a person to breathe. Symptoms include chest pain and/or a frequent cough that’s different from the usual chronic cough that’s associated with COPD.

Pneumonia and COPD is a serious combination that should not be taken lightly. Damage from pneumonia can cause irreversible damage to lung tissue, with the most severe complication being respiratory failure. In fact, acute respiratory failure is one of the leading health concerns when a person with COPD develops pneumonia.

Can Lung Infections be Prevented?

Lung infection and COPD, while common, isn’t entirely unavoidable. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your lungs. Many people develop pneumonia after having the flu. Because of this, getting a flu shot is an important safety precaution that a person can take to reduce chances of contracting pneumonia. Frequent hand washing is also key, as is staying away from people who are sick.

Eating healthy and exercising are also great ways to strengthen your immune system, which will not only reduce your chances of getting sick, but also lower the risk of experiencing COPD exacerbations.

Signs and Symptoms of a Lung Infection

Lung Infection and COPD: What You Can Do

Symptoms of a lung infection are very similar to COPD symptoms, which can make it difficult to diagnose. Because of this, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of a lung infection and how they differ from those of COPD.

1) Fever

Normal body temperature is typically around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but varies from person to person. An elevated body temperature, or fever, might be an indication of a lung infection. In addition to an elevated body temperature, or a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, chills and shaking are other symptoms of a fever.

2) Increased Shortness of Breath

Experiencing shortness of breath is a common problem for people with COPD. However, if the shortness of breath gets worse, it could be a sign of a lung infection. Additionally, rapid breathing and an increased heart rate may also be signs of a lung infection. Because of this, paying careful attention to your body and the severity of your symptoms is imperative in helping to catch a lung infection early on.

3) Changes in Mucus

If you notice that you are expelling more mucus when you cough, or that it has changed, these could be symptoms of a lung infection. When a person has a lung infection, their mucus tends to change color, have a thicker and stickier consistency, and sometimes will have a foul odor. Your mucus can tell you a lot about the state of your lungs.

4) Sharp Chest Pain

People with a lung infection typically experience a sharp, aching pain on one side of their chest that worsens when they breathe in deeply. This is called pleuritic chest pain. It can also feel like a tightness or pressure inside of your chest wall. While pleuritic chest pain isn’t always indicative of a lung infection, it could signify another issue. Sometimes pleuritic chest pain could be a problem with the lung or heart. With any type of chest pain, it is important to immediately seek professional medical attention.

Managing a lung infection and COPD isn’t an easy task. However, knowing what to look out for can help you catch an infection before it gets worse. If you think you might have symptoms of a lung infection, contact your primary care physician for an expert opinion. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health.

Many people with COPD have experienced a reduction in inflammation and other COPD symptoms after receiving cellular therapy. Unlike traditional treatments that often mask the symptoms of lung disorders, the goal of our innovative cellular therapy is to help manage symptoms and potentially improve overall lung health and quality of life. Our integrated wellness approach has the potential to improve overall lung health and to offer a better quality  of life.

If you or someone you love has COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), ILD (Interstitial lung disease), emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, or another chronic lung disorder, call us today at 866-638-4776 and learn more about what our innovative therapy has the potential to do for you. 

 

Medical Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this article. We strive for 100% accuracy, but errors may occur, and medications, protocols, and treatment methods may change over time. 

 

 

 

 

 

at the Lung Health Institute. If you’re interested in learning more about how cellular therapy might help you, contact us today for more information.