Other Treatments for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Other treatments that may be used to treat COPD include the following:

Immunizations & COPD

Patients with COPD should discuss influenza and pneumoccocal immunization (vaccination) with their physicians. In some cases, immunization is not recommended, but these vaccines are generally safe.

Influenza (the flu) is a respiratory illness that can be devastating to a patient with COPD. Vaccination decreases the incidence of influenza significantly but does not provide 100 percent protection. Influenza immunization is given every fall.

Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in COPD patients. Vaccination can significantly decrease the incidence of pneumonia. Pneumococcal immunization (Pneumovax) is given every 6 years.

Nocturnal Noninvasive Ventilation & COPD

Patients with severe COPD and CO2 (carbon dioxide) retention may benefit from ventilation during the night; however, this has not been proven conclusively. In this treatment, a mask is fitted over the nose or over the nose and mouth and attached to a ventilator.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 May 2000

Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015