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Living with my COPD

What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

This page is specifically for patients who have been prescribed Anoro Ellipta. If you are not a patient please return to the public website.

This is a term used for a number of conditions; including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD leads to damaged airways in the lungs, causing them to become narrower and making it harder for air to get in and out of the lungs. The word 'chronic' means that the problem is long-term.

The symptoms of COPD include breathlessness, wheeziness, coughing, and coughing up phlegm.[1]

Flare-ups or exacerbations are times when you suddenly become much more breathless, get a cough, or notice that you are producing more sputum or that it is a different colour than normal.

The most common cause of COPD is smoking. Once you give up smoking, you gradually reduce the chances of getting COPD - and you slow down its progress if you already have it. Occupational factors, such as coal dust can also cause COPD, as can the genetic condition Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency.[1]

Monitoring my COPD

Spirometry

As part of the diagnosis process your health care professional will usually ask you to take a breathing test, this test is known as spirometry and it measures how well your lungs work.

Spirometry is often also used during your COPD assessments as this allows your health care professional to track your COPD over time and make adjustment to your care if required.

This measures your forced expiratory volume in 1 second or FEV1 - which is how much air you can expel from your lungs in the first second of breathing out. It can help tell whether your breathing is obstructed by narrowing of the bronchial tubes [as found in asthma or COPD].

The FEV1 is useful in diagnosing COPD, telling how severe the disease is and how it might develop.[2]

COPD Assessment Test

The COPD Assessment Test (CAT) is an eight-question questionnaire that will help you and your doctor measure the impact COPD is having on your life, and how this changes over time.

Your answers and test score, can be used by you and your healthcare professional to help improve the management of your COPD and maximise the benefit from treatment. Click to take the COPD Assessment Test (CAT) now or print it at home.

There is no particular score you should be aiming for, but in general, you and your doctor will be looking to reduce or at least maintain your CAT score.[3]

This page is specifically for patients who have been prescribed Anoro Ellipta. If you are not a patient please return to the public website.

References:

  1. http://www.blf.org.uk/Page/causes-and-symptoms-of-COPD. Date of access: November 2015
  2. http://www.patient.co.uk/health/spirometry-leaflet. Date of access: November 2015
  3. http://catestonline.org/images/UserGuides/CATHCPUser%20guideEn.pdf. Date of access: November 2015

This medicine is subject to additional monitoring. This will allow quick identification of new safety information. You can help by reporting any side effects you may get. If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any side effects not listed in the package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

Anoro and Ellipta are registered trademarks of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies.