Chronic BronchitisChronic bronchitis is one of the components of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD is listed as the fourth leading cause of death in the United States where it affects about 12 to 16 million people (Kim and Criner, 2013). The definitions given for chronic definition varies but the standard definition is production of sputum and chronic coughs for a minimum of three months annually for two consecutive years (Arcangelo and Peterson, 2006). Chronic bronchitis is caused when the goblet cells hyper secrete and over produce mucus. The result is a worsened airflow due to the obstruction of small air paths, epithelial reshaping and resizing and the change in airway tension that makes it vulnerable to collapsing (Kim and Criner, 2013). The pathological foundation for chronic bronchitis is Mucus Metaplasia which is the excessive production of mucus in response to signals of inflammation. Chronic bronchitis affects up to 74% of all patients who have been diagnosed with COPD (Kim and Criner, 2013). Several research studies carried out in different parts of the world have revealed that chronic bronchitis affects more women than men. The reasons for such findings have not been clarified but most researchers have attributed it the hormonal differences and gender differences in reporting symptoms (Kim and Criner, 2013). Also 10-25% of the adult population in the U.S is affected by chronic bronchitis. Cigarette smoking is the predominant risk factor for chronic bronchitis and others include; exposure to chemical fumes, dust, and biomass fuels (Arcangelo and Peterson, 2006).
Drugs Prescribed to Treat Associated Symptoms
After a patient is diagnosed with chronic bronchitis and the clinical status determined, that is the complexity of the disorder, relevant prescription is made. Some of the drugs that would be given to patients to treat symptoms associated with the disorder include; ampicillins, cephalosporins, and fluoroquinolones.
It is effective in treating bacterial infections which cause acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis (Drugs.com, 2012). This is because they prevent bacterial wall synthesis by binding them to its binding proteins. They, however, do not penetrate well in sputum (Arcangelo and Peterson, 2006). They are considered safe for use by kids, expectant women, and adults as well.
Cephalosporins comprise vantin, ceclor, keflex, and ceftin used for treatment of acute exacerbations (Arcangelo and Peterson, 2006). Like ampicillins, they also prevent bacterial wall synthesis through the same binding process (Drugs.com, 2012). Cephalosporins are suitable for use by adults and children.
The agents that make up fluoroquinolones are moxifloxacin and levofloxacin. The two are used to prevent topoisomerase and deoxyribonucleic acid gyrase in vulnerable microorganisms consequently tampering with the synthesis of proteins (Arcangelo and Peterson, 2006). Fluoroquinolones are not suitable for persons under the age of 18, expectant women and lactating mothers.
How Gender Impacts Effects of the Prescribed Drugs
Ampicillins can make birth control pills less effective (Drugs.com, 2012). This may result in pregnancy for which a woman and her spouse are not prepared for. For lactating mothers the Fluoroquinolones and Cephalosporins can pass into breast milk and cause harm to the lactating child (Drugs.com, 2012). Women who use these drugs are also likely to experience vaginal itching or discharge. When women experience these secondary symptoms, they will require treatment for the same, this will increase their medical expenses. For women, the adverse effects of the aforementioned drugs are escalated because of the sited vulnerabilities that are attached to the female gender. Each of the categories of drugs discussed is used in treatment of the different stages of chronic bronchitis. This complicates the situation for women who might be at the first or last stage but because of their condition; lactating or pregnancy, the drug becomes a source of danger instead of relief. These adverse impacts can be minimized by the women informing doctors of their conditions from the onset and reporting immediately secondary symptoms are surfacing.
- Arcangelo, V. P., & Peterson, A. M. (Eds.). (2006). Pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice: a practical approach (Vol. 536). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
- Celli, B. R., MacNee, W. A. T. S., Agusti, A. A. T. S., Anzueto, A., Berg, B., Buist, A. S., … & Fein, A. (2004). Standards for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with COPD: a summary of the ATS/ERS position paper. European Respiratory Journal, 23(6), 932-946.
- Drugs.com. Drugs A-Z. (2012, December 15). Retrieved December 20, 2016, from https://www.drugs.com/penicillin.html
- Kim, V., & Criner, G. J. (2013). Chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 187(3), 228-237.