When I called up the hospital, I was told that my clinic has to find an alternative since the hospital in low on budget and will no longer supply those medicines to my patient. So this prompted my mini search (or rather, refreshing of) COPD guidelines.Tiotropium bromide (List A*) [Spiriva] is a long-acting anticholinergics (duration: 24 hours) used for the long term maintanance treatment of bronchospasm and dyspnoea associated with COPD. It is usually added to standard therapy (e.g. inhaled steroids, theophylline) and the dose is 18mcg od.
Symbicort Turbohaler (List A) contains budesonide (a glucocorticosteroid) 160mcg and formoterol (long-acting beta2-agonist, duration: 12+ hours) 4.5 mcg; the dose is 1-2puff bd,max 4puff bd.
My clinic only has MDI salbutamol, MDI budesonide and MDI Berodual. MDI Berodual contains ipratropium bromide (a short-acting anticholinergics; duration: 6-8 hours) 20 mcg/dose and fenoterol hydrobromide (short-acting beta2-agonist); duration: 4-6 hours)50 mcg/dose.
Regular treatment with long-acting bronchodilators is more effective and convenient than treatment with short-acting bronchodilators.
GOLD guidelines: Therapy at each stage of COPD
Guidelines according to NICE
Since my patient is on a long-acting bronchodilator and inhaled steroids, his stage of COPD must have necessitated the use of these medicines, and that the short-acting bronchodilator and short-acting anticholinergics in my clinic are not sufficient for his condition. These are conveyed to the hospital and arrangement is made for them to supply us with those medicines currently, after which my budget-strained clinic has to exchange similar-valued medicines with tiotropium and Symbicort Turbohaler from the hospital for my patient's life-long supply of medicines. I believe that patient's care should not be compromised even when he is under follow-up in a clinic !