Types of COPD Maintenance Therapy

Types of COPD
maintenance therapy

Daily maintenance therapies for COPD are designed to help you breathe better throughout the day. Depending on the severity of your COPD symptoms, your doctor may prescribe daily maintenance therapy. These therapies include: 

Oral Medications – Depending on the prescription, oral medications may help dilate the airways and reduce inflammation in the lungs.

Nebulized Solutions – These solutions help to keep your airways open and are delivered through a nebulizer machine which turns the solution into a fine mist to be inhaled. 

Maintenance Inhalers – These therapies deliver COPD medicine through a device that helps you inhale the medicine directly into your airways. These therapies can include 1, 2, or 3 types of COPD maintenance medicine. 

If you’re prescribed a daily maintenance therapy, be sure to ask your doctor how to take your therapy and your daily treatment schedule. 

COPD Maintenance Medicines
  • How do I take my daily maintenance therapy? – If you’re prescribed an inhaler therapy, dual and triple therapies may require the use of 1 or more inhalers.
  • How often do I take my daily maintenance therapy? – Depending on your prescription, you may take your daily maintenance therapy 1 or more times per day.

Ideally, you’ll want to find a therapy that treats your symptoms and also fits into your daily routine. It’s also important to be aware that COPD treatments carry certain risks and side effects, and you should discuss them with your doctor before beginning treatment.


Depending on the treatment plan, daily maintenance therapy may include 1, 2 or 3 of the following medicines: 

  • Long-Acting Muscarinic Antagonists (LAMAs) help relax the muscles around your airways, allowing the airways to dilate.
  • Long-Acting Beta2-Agonists (LABAs) expand the smooth muscles around the airways, allowing the airways to dilate.
  • Inhaled Corticosteroids (ICSs) reduce the swelling (inflammation) in the walls of your airways.

Daily Maintenance Therapies: How They Differ







Dual Therapies



Triple Therapy



COPD Treatment: Monotherapy


Monotherapy for the daily maintenance of COPD means that only 1 long-acting COPD medicine is used, either a LAMA or a LABA

LAMAs and LABAs are both long-acting bronchodilators, meaning that they work to help open or dilate the airways (bronchial tubes) in your lungs.


COPD Treatment: Dual Therapy
Dual Therapy

Dual Therapy

Dual therapy for COPD means that 2 medicines work together to help open the airways in your lungs. However, there are 2 types of dual therapies, each with a different combination of medicines.

ICS and LABA combination treatments

An ICS is an anti-inflammatory, and a LABA is a long-acting bronchodilator, meaning that they work together to open or dilate the airways (bronchial tubes) and decrease inflammation in your lungs.

ICS and LABA Combination Treatments

LAMA and LABA combination treatments (or Dual Bronchodilators)

LAMAs and LABAs are both long-acting bronchodilators that work together to help dilate the airways in your lungs. 

LAMA and LABA Combination Treatments (Dual Bronchodilators)

Not getting enough relief 
with just a rescue inhaler? 


COPD Treatment: Triple Therapy
Triple Therapy for COPD

Triple Therapy

Triple therapy means that 3 medicines (ICSsLAMAs, and LABAs) work together to help open the airways in your lungs. 


Depending on your treatment plan, triple therapy may be administered by using 1 or 2 inhalers. 

Still having trouble breathing? 

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