Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
COPD is characterized by a longstanding (chronic) obstruction to air flow out of the lungs. It can take different forms and have different symptoms. Symptoms of COPD can also vary in severity. Symptoms include a chronic cough, shortness of breath, and frequent respiratory infections. Other possible symptoms can include finger clubbing, wheezing, exercise intolerance, chest tightness, cough productive of sputum, and coughing up blood. The advanced stages of COPD can lead to symptoms like swelling of the feet and ankles, bluish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes (cyanosis), morning headaches, and weight loss.
Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.
Kleinschmidt, Paul. "Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Emphysema in Emergency Medicine." Medscape.com. Sept. 17, 2012. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/807143-overview>.
Longo, Dan, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.
Main Article on COPD Symptoms and Signs
COPD Symptoms and Signs
Examples of Medications for COPD Symptoms and Signs
- albuterol and ipratropium inhaler, Combivent, Combivent Respimat
- albuterol, Ventolin, Proventil, Proventil-HFA, AccuNeb, Vospire, ProAir
- ipratropium bromide inhaler, Atrovent, Atrovent HFA
- ipratropium solution - inhalation, Atrovent
- magnesium sulfate (injection)
- methylprednisolone, Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol
- salmeterol, Serevent
- terbutaline,Brethine, Bricanyl, and Brethaire are no longer available in the U.S.
- theophylline, Respbid, Slo-Bid, Theo-24, (Theolair, Uniphyl Theo-Dur, and Slo-Phyllin-discontinued)
- tiotropium capsule - inhalation
Symptoms & Signs A-Z List
Find out what women really need.