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Use of Bronchodilators

Long-acting bronchodilators should be taken as prescribed.

The majority of patients with COPD do not require short-acting bronchodilators (‘relievers’) prior to or during exercise as they should be taught during a pulmonary rehabilitation program that they can recover from exercise-induced breathlessness by taking short rest periods and then resuming exercise when their breathlessness is under control. For some individuals, specific work: rest intervals in the form of interval exercise training should be prescribed to manage the patient’s breathlessness.

Short-acting bronchodilators may be indicated in those patients who experience significant chest tightness and/or wheeze during exercise. In such patients, taking short-acting bronchodilators before exercise may enable exercise training:

  • At a greater intensity.
  • For a longer duration.
  • With less symptoms.