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Living with my COPD

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

What is COPD?

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 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.[2] Relvar Ellipta has been shown to reduce flare-ups of COPD symptoms. Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, you must use Relvar Ellipta once daily to treat your COPD.[3]

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.[4]

Monitoring my COPD

Spirometry

This measures your 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 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)]. The FEV1 is useful in diagnosing COPD, telling how severe it is and how it might develop.[5]

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 Asessment Test 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.[6]

References:

https://www.blf.org.uk/Page/what-is-COPD. Date of access: December 2015

http://publications.nice.org.uk/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-ifp101/treating-exacerbations Date of access: December 2015

Relvar Ellipta 92/22mg Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC)

https://www.blf.org.uk/Page/causes-and-symptoms-of-COPD. Date of access: December 2015

https://www.blf.org.uk/Page/how-is-COPD-diagnosed. Date of access: December 2015

http://catestonline.co.uk/pubFAQ.htm. Date of access: December 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.

Relvar and Ellipta are registered trademarks of the GlaxoSmithKline Group of Companies