Respiratory diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can worsen with time, especially if the disease is not treated effectively. Certain medications, such as Trelegy, may be prescribed to help manage the progression of COPD.
Understanding Causes and Symptoms of COPD
Several factors can contribute to the cause of COPD. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list tobacco smoke as the number one cause of this disease, whether the patient diagnosed with COPD was a smoker or was exposed to second-hand smoke over a period of time.
Other causes include exposure to pollutants in the air while at work or at home. Smoke from cooking fires, which may be more common in less developed areas, are notable for raising the risk for developing or exacerbating COPD. Genetics and preexisting respiratory conditions can also lead to the development of COPD.
Symptoms of COPD may include feeling as if deep breathing is difficult and that the patient is frequently short of breath. It’s also common to experience a frequent wheeze or cough that may produce phlegm or a phlegm-like substance when no other cause for it is known.
Because this disease impacts a patient’s ability to draw enough oxygen into the lungs, several secondary complications can develop. They may experience cognitive impairment, a general sense of poor health, or struggle to maintain basic physical activities throughout the day.
Now that there is more understanding of how COPD is caused and what its symptoms look like, researchers are able to show that it impacts women and men differently. Women are more likely to develop COPD at a younger age and may develop symptoms faster than men even if their exposure to causes of COPD is less. Women and men may respond differently to treatments, as well.
If you or your loved one is diagnosed with COPD, your primary care doctor can help you identify effective treatment methods.
Common Treatments for COPD
Medication is often just one of the treatment methods in a patient’s plan to manage their symptoms of COPD. If the patient smokes or is exposed to harmful smoke, they’re advised to quit or reduce their exposure. Other lifestyle changes may also be advised as part of an individual’s treatment plan.
Pulmonary rehabilitation can also help patients improve their lung function and prevent worsening symptoms. A specialist helps personalize a plan that instructs a patient on special breathing exercises, helps them learn how to conserve their energy and may also include nutritional advice to maintain overall health.
Supplemental oxygen treatment is also common for people with moderate to advanced symptoms of COPD. This is typically provided in the form of a portable oxygen tank, and may only be advised if a diagnostic test shows the patient has low levels of oxygen in their blood.
Medicare Coverage for Trelegy
As an FDA-approved treatment for COPD, Trelegy is used as a once-a-day inhalant that can help open airways and lower inflammation in the lungs, which can lead to improved lung function and oxygen saturation.
Coverage for prescription medications like Trelegy can change depending on how a Medicare recipient chooses to receive their benefits. Original Medicare Coverage, Part A and Part B, does not provide coverage for most prescription drugs taken at home. While Medigap plans do enhance the benefits of Original Medicare, most of them do not offer prescription drug coverage, either.
Part C Medicare Advantage plans may pair Original Medicare benefits with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Alternatively, recipients can purchase a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to use alongside their Original Medicare and Medigap plans.
Part D plans are carried by private insurers who contract with Medicare to offer coverage — each plan determines which drugs are listed in their formulary, which cost tier that drug falls under and how much a recipient’s copay may be for that prescription. If you’re interested in coverage options for Trelegy, check the formularies and benefits packages of plans in your area.