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Old 09-08-2008, 04:05 PM   #1
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good/best treatment emphysema

My father is age 75 and has moderate to severe emphysema. He does not smoke (quit approx. 30 years ago) and does not require oxygen. He does have chronic/hacking cough. Approximately one month ago, he was hospitalized and had heart surgery (arteries opened/stints). The treating physician (on call family doctor) at the hospital placed him on Spiriva and Proventil for his coughing/emphysema. Last week, he was treated inpatient for the heart (another artery/stint) and his heart doctor had the pulmonologist examine him. He placed him on Advair (I believe in addition to the Spiriva and Proventil. I believe this could be too much medication as he's never been on any prior to this treatment. Can anyone(s) advise on which of these is/are the best treatment for emphysema? I worry that so much could cause him pnuemonia, eye problems, etc. as I know there are side effects with these meds. Are there better/other treatment options (especially generic) for the treatment of emphysema?

Thank you.

 
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:18 AM   #2
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Re: good/best treatment emphysema

Your father seems to be on the same regimen of meds that most of us with severe COPD are prescribed. I did experience heart palpitations with Advair, as well as oral thrush from the steroid component (so he should rinse well after using), and was switched to Foradil (no steroid). However, he may need the Advair for coughing and inflammation. I can't say enough good things about Spiriva. It sounds like his doctors (and you) are taking good care of him.

 
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:36 AM   #3
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Re: good/best treatment emphysema

Quote:
Originally Posted by judgejkh View Post
My father is age 75 and has moderate to severe emphysema. He does not smoke (quit approx. 30 years ago) and does not require oxygen. He does have chronic/hacking cough. Approximately one month ago, he was hospitalized and had heart surgery (arteries opened/stints). The treating physician (on call family doctor) at the hospital placed him on Spiriva and Proventil for his coughing/emphysema. Last week, he was treated inpatient for the heart (another artery/stint) and his heart doctor had the pulmonologist examine him. He placed him on Advair (I believe in addition to the Spiriva and Proventil. I believe this could be too much medication as he's never been on any prior to this treatment. Can anyone(s) advise on which of these is/are the best treatment for emphysema? I worry that so much could cause him pnuemonia, eye problems, etc. as I know there are side effects with these meds. Are there better/other treatment options (especially generic) for the treatment of emphysema?



Thank you.
I was recently diagnosed with emphysema. Fairly severe. I am on oxygen and use an albuterol inhaler. They wanted me to go on Advair but I am concerned about the side effects. I am basically healthy otherwise with no colds or flu for years due to taking nutritional supplements and I want to stay that way.

I have been researching for a few years on the internet treatments without side effects and came up with hydrogen peroxide IV treatments. I have an appointment to start this in mid Oct. and feel very confident they will help without side affects. They also boost the immune system and help many other issues as well.

You might do a search for Dr. Charles Farr, hydrogen peroxide. There is lots of information on the subject as well as lists of Drs. and clinics throughout the US that do it. I am going to Renton, Wash. to the Tahoma Clinic.

Good luck with your Dad.
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Last edited by countrylady43; 09-28-2008 at 12:38 AM. Reason: error

 
Old 09-28-2008, 08:21 AM   #4
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Re: good/best treatment emphysema

CountryLady - have you participated in pulmonary rehab? Exercise has helped me more than anything, and yes I am on 02 also. When I first started walking, I could barely walk to the corner. Now I lift weights, am able to walk more than 3 mi. a day and rarely experience shortness of breath. (I'm 68and feel better than I have in years. My immune system is excellent now.) To me, exercise seems a healthier (and cheaper) option than the hydrogen peroxide therapy.

 
Old 09-28-2008, 09:45 AM   #5
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Re: good/best treatment emphysema

judgejkh

It sounds like you don't realize the seriousness of you father's problem. Remember that we need to take care of our breathing to take care of our hearts. Your father is not using too much medicine. Its the norm. But what was suggested, using Foradil instead of Advair would be better for your father. It has less side effects. And it won't cause oral thrush which is a pain to deal with. Advair is more drug company and doctor friendly than patient friendly. And if he has Medicare Part D, when he falls into the donut hole, Advair will cost $500.00. And don't be afraid to use oxygen if necessary. It will protect the heart. It would seem that a person with heart problems would be using some form of oxygen treatment to protect the heart. I'm the same age as your father and have severe emphysema and COPD and I use oxygen. Your father is lucky to have a caring son to watch out for him. I wish you both well.

 
Old 09-28-2008, 06:51 PM   #6
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Re: good/best treatment emphysema

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypatia View Post
CountryLady - have you participated in pulmonary rehab? Exercise has helped me more than anything, and yes I am on 02 also. When I first started walking, I could barely walk to the corner. Now I lift weights, am able to walk more than 3 mi. a day and rarely experience shortness of breath. (I'm 68and feel better than I have in years. My immune system is excellent now.) To me, exercise seems a healthier (and cheaper) option than the hydrogen peroxide therapy.
Where did you do pulmonary rehab? I wanted to do it..still do.. I asked the dr. I went to about it, and she acted like I was crazy.. she said they had cardiac rehab but I couldn't do it..I said...well I think there is something called pulmonary rehab.. she said..no matter what it is.. you can't do it unless you have a heart attack.!

Are you still on Oxygen? Do you take any drugs? My goal is to be off both. The oxygen is a pain to deal with and drugs have side affects...but I am certainly open to hearing more if it does not include drugs.
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Old 09-28-2008, 06:53 PM   #7
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Re: good/best treatment emphysema

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judgejkh

snip Advair is more drug company and doctor friendly than patient friendly. And if he has Medicare Part D, when he falls into the donut hole, Advair will cost $500.00. snip.
can you explain what you mean by "the donut hole". Is Advair $500 per month?
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:51 PM   #8
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Re: good/best treatment emphysema

With Medicare Part D you start out paying a low co-pay for your meds and the insurance company pays the rest until......you reach a certain point and you fall into the donut hole (figuratively speaking) at which time you pay 100% of the cost of your meds until you reach another specified cost amount and then it gets cheap, but not many people get to that point before the end of the year, when it starts all over again. The donut hole is the killer though. Many people can't afford their meds then. Advair happens to be one of the expensive meds and used to cost me about $500.00 during the donut hole whereas before that point , I only paid $17.00 for it.

 
Old 11-08-2008, 11:21 PM   #9
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Re: good/best treatment emphysema

To Judgejkh,

I was on both Advair and Spiriva. The Advair when he kept raising the dosage started causing a lot of side effects. So I stopped using both of them. My family doctor advised me to start using the Spiriva again. Only side effect is urination can sometimes be slow, and I find myself pushing. I'll keep using it unless something else bad happens because of the med. I have RSD as well as emphysema, and they are both kicking my butt! I'm on oxygen now 24/7 and am constantly struggling to just get a good breath. When I do anything physical, I oftentimes end up gasping on the floor for air. Your dad sounds like he is doing a whole lot better than I am. He is 75 and I'm 61. I did not quit smoking until Oct 4, 2007. I have nothing to blame but my stupidity for smoking all those years. I was even given a warning about 10 years ago that it sounded like I had beginning signs of emphysema. I chose to ignore it and am paying the price now. No doubt your dad is better than I because he quit smoking so long ago. Good luck to him.

deepsouth

 
Old 10-05-2009, 08:31 PM   #10
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Re: good/best treatment emphysema

Did the treatment work for you??

 
Old 10-09-2009, 09:13 AM   #11
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Re: good/best treatment emphysema

Quote:
Originally Posted by countrylady43 View Post
Where did you do pulmonary rehab? I wanted to do it..still do.. I asked the dr. I went to about it, and she acted like I was crazy.. she said they had cardiac rehab but I couldn't do it..I said...well I think there is something called pulmonary rehab.. she said..no matter what it is.. you can't do it unless you have a heart attack.!

Are you still on Oxygen? Do you take any drugs? My goal is to be off both. The oxygen is a pain to deal with and drugs have side affects...but I am certainly open to hearing more if it does not include drugs.
Sorry I almost missed your post, CL43. There was no pulmo rehab where I lived when first diagnosed with COPD so I can relate to your problem. It sounds like your dr. isn't a pulmonologist==most of them know the true value of exercise. On my own, I started slowly walking and lifting light weights, gradually increasing both. I bought a cheap $200 treadmill and some Leslie Sansone walking videos for bad weather.

I will always be on 02 and still suffer bouts of shortness of breath but feel better than I have in years. the SOB won't kill you; it just seems like it sometimes. Best wishes to you...

 
Old 10-09-2009, 09:18 AM   #12
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Re: good/best treatment emphysema

p.s. I just realized this is a very old thread, so I probably shouldn't have responded.

 
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