J Korean Med Assoc.  2019 May;62(5):277-282. 10.5124/jkma.2019.62.5.277.

Pharmacotherapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

  • 1Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Hallym University Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. bfspark@kdh.or.kr
  • 2Lung Research Institute, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.


Appropriate pharmacologic therapy can reduce symptoms and risk and severity of exacerbations, as well as improve the health status and exercise tolerance of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The most important medications for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are inhaled bronchodilators including beta2-agonist and anticholinergics. Inhaled corticosteroids as anti-inflammatory drug should be considered in certain patients with caution considering risk and benefit. The choice within each class depends on the availability of medication and the patient's responses and preferences. Each treatment regimen needs to be individualized as the relationship between severity of symptoms, airflow limitation and severity of exacerbation can differ between patients.


Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive; Respiratory therapy

MeSH Terms

Adrenal Cortex Hormones
Bronchodilator Agents
Cholinergic Antagonists
Drug Therapy*
Exercise Tolerance
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive*
Respiratory Therapy
Adrenal Cortex Hormones
Bronchodilator Agents
Cholinergic Antagonists
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