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Respiratory conditions

The management of community-acquired pneumonia

Pneumonia is a significant cause of mortality in children and older people, particularly among Māori and Pacific peoples. In... View Article

May 2024

Accelerated silicosis: diagnosis of an occupational disease

Accelerated silicosis has recently emerged as a serious occupational health condition mainly affecting people working with artificial... View Article

December 2023

Cough medicines: do they make a difference?

Over-the-counter cough medicines, although widely used, are not particularly effective at reducing the severity or duration of... View Article

October 2023

Managing dyspnoea in the last days of life

Dyspnoea is commonly experienced by people who are nearing the end of life. Once reversible causes have been addressed, management... View Article

September 2023

Managing excessive respiratory secretions in the last days of life

Excessive respiratory secretions result when the person becomes too weak to clear their airways in the last days of life. The... View Article

September 2023

Lung cancer follow-up and surveillance: the role of primary care

Transitioning from active treatment to post-treatment care is an important milestone in the long-term health of people who have... View Article

October 2021

Early detection of lung cancer in primary care

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in New Zealand and the leading cause of cancer death. By the time of diagnosis,... View Article

March 2021

An update on the pharmacological management of stable COPD

New national guidelines for the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were published by the Asthma + Respiratory... View Article

February 2021

Consider blue-green algal blooms this summer: Identifying and managing suspected cyanotoxin poisoning in primary care

Cyanobacteria, also referred to as blue-green algae, are micro-organisms that live in freshwater and marine environments. Under... View Article

November 2020

The pharmacological management of asthma in adolescents and adults has changed

The recently released New Zealand adolescent and adult asthma guidelines contain a new stepwise treatment pathway that recommends... View Article

July 2020

Is it asthma? Assessing and managing wheeze in pre-school children

Wheeze in children aged under five years is common and often triggered by viral illness, even in children who do not go on to... View Article

July 2020

The COPD prescribing tool for initiating medicines

This tool provides pharmacological treatment options for patients with COPD based on their symptom severity. Choose category... View Article

June 2020

Preventing and managing bronchiectasis in high-risk paediatric populations

Bronchiectasis is a lung disease characterised by bronchial dilation, chronic inflammation and infection, which can lead to permanent... View Article

May 2020

Navigating uncertainty: managing respiratory tract infections

With winter upon us, it is timely to reflect on antibiotic prescribing practices for respiratory tract infections (RTIs) and associated... View Article

August 2019

Cold season: managing without antibiotics

For the majority of people with upper respiratory tract infections symptomatic treatment will offer better outcomes than antibiotics,... View Article

June 2018

The bpacnz COPD prescribing tool has been updated

The bpacnz COPD prescribing tool was developed based on the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD 2016)... View Article

December 2017

The bpacnz antibiotic guide: 2017 edition

The 2017 edition of the bpacnz antibiotics guide; "Antibiotics: choices for common infections", is now available online. There... View Article

July 2017

Pulmonary rehabilitation for people with COPD

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a behavioural intervention for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that improves... View Article

May 2017

Bronchiolitis: when to reassure and monitor, and when to refer

Bronchiolitis is a lower respiratory tract infection, most often caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). In severe illness... View Article

April 2017

Adding a long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA) to asthma treatment for adults

If a patient using an inhaled corticosteroid for asthma has symptoms which are not adequately controlled, clinicians should consider... View Article

April 2017

Managing adults with asthma in primary care: the four-stage consultation

The New Zealand adult asthma guidelines were released by the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand in November, 2016.... View Article

April 2017

Inhaled corticosteroids for adults with asthma

A key decision in asthma management is when to initiate an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS). It is clear that patients with weekly... View Article

April 2017

Upfront: Tips for prescribing newly-subsidised medicines for patients with COPD

In March, 2016, subsidy changes came into effect for medicines used to treat patients with COPD. The large number of changes created... View Article

August 2016

The COPD prescribing tool

This tool provides pharmacological treatment options for patients with COPD based on their symptom severity. Choose category... View Article

July 2016

Asthma in primary care

Updated asthma guidelines are expected to be released later in 2016. This report provides an update on the treatment of patients... View Article

June 2016

Newly-subsidised medicines for the treatment of patients with COPD

Subsidy changes for medicines used to treat patients with COPD came into effect on March 1, 2016. In this article we discuss how... View Article

March 2016

Upfront: Are blood eosinophil counts helpful in predicting patient responses to inhaled corticosteroids in COPD?

The risks and benefits of treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are different for individual patients with COPD. There... View Article

March 2016

Asthma education in primary care

Māori and Pacific peoples in New Zealand are disproportionately affected by asthma, but the level of care they receive does not... View Article

September 2015

Debate: Do you prescribe antibiotics for respiratory tract infections? An everyday conundrum in general practice

Appropriate prescribing of antibiotics for patients with respiratory tract infections (RTI) is a key component of improving antimicrobial... View Article

June 2015

Delayed antibiotic prescriptions for respiratory tract infections: does the strategy work?

Delayed antibiotic prescribing, also known as a “back pocket prescription”, is a strategy of providing a patient with a prescription... View Article

June 2015

Is point-of-care CRP testing useful in guiding antibiotic prescribing in patients with respiratory tract infections?

Point-of-care CRP testing may help primary care clinicians to identify with more certainty which patients with features of respiratory... View Article

June 2015

Essentials for people with COPD

The interventions with the greatest potential to prevent further deterioration in patients with COPD are: View Article

March 2015

Research updates

Shorter courses of oral corticosteroids for the management of exacerbations in patients with COPD | Diet and the risk of COPD View Article

March 2015

Upfront - End-of-life care for patients with chronic disease: have we made a difference?

In late 2011 we published an article on end-of-life care for patients with respiratory failure, contributed by Professor D. Robin... View Article

March 2015

The optimal management of patients with COPD - Part 1: The diagnosis

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects approximately one in seven New Zealanders aged over 40 years, and is the... View Article

February 2015

The optimal management of patients with COPD - Part 2: Stepwise escalation of treatment

This article contains some information on the use of inhaled medicines for COPD treatment that is no longer current. More recent... View Article

February 2015

Medicine updates

This article has been archived. If you would like access to the original article please contact: editor@bpac.org.nz View Article

December 2014

Assessing wheeze in pre-school children

Wheeze in children aged less than five years has many potential causes. Often it is regarded as the first sign of asthma, however,... View Article

November 2013

Cold season in primary care

A newer article is available on this subject: Cold season: managing without antibiotics Every year New Zealanders spend significant... View Article

April 2013

Obstructive sleep apnoea in adults

Obstructive sleep apnoea affects many adults in New Zealand, and is especially common among Māori and Pacific peoples. Moderate... View Article

November 2012

Upfront: Lung cancer in New Zealand

Lung cancer in New Zealand: overcoming barriers View Article

November 2012

Managing breathlessness in palliative care

Breathlessness is a complex and subjective symptom that is commonly experienced by people who are nearing the end of life. Once... View Article

October 2012

Bronchiectasis: rates still increasing among Pacific peoples

Bronchiectasis is a lung disease characterised by irreversible bronchial dilation and chronic inflammation, resulting in chronic... View Article

September 2012

Bronchiolitis in infants

Bronchiolitis is the most common lower respiratory tract infection in infants, and between 2006 and 2010 accounted for almost... View Article

September 2012

Pertussis: an avoidable epidemic

This article is out of date. Please see: Pertussis: halting the epidemic by protecting infants for updated information New... View Article

August 2012

The management of community acquired pneumonia

Pneumonia is a significant cause of hospitalisation and mortality among both children and adults in New Zealand. Māori and... View Article

August 2012

Prescribing for children with asthma

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of childhood asthma in the world. It is the leading cause of sleep disturbance, missed... View Article

April 2012

Diagnosis and management of COPD in Māori and Pacific peoples

COPD disproportionately affects Māori and Pacific peoples in New Zealand. It is essential that people most at risk of COPD... View Article

April 2012

Diagnosing and managing asthma in children

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of childhood asthma in the developed world. It is the leading cause of sleep disturbance,... View Article

February 2012

Schedule changes for asthma inhalers

This article has been archived. If you would like access to the original article please contact: editor@bpac.org.nz View Article

February 2012

The nutritional management of unintentional weight loss in people with COPD

People with COPD are generally underweight, have reduced muscle mass and are often malnourished, leading to other health problems.... View Article

May 2011

Pneumococcal vaccine for adults: Pneumovax23

Invasive pneumococcal disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae can result in life-threatening pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia.... View Article

April 2011

Continuing care for pregnant women with asthma

When asthma is well controlled during pregnancy, there is little or no increased risk of adverse maternal or foetal complications.... View Article

April 2011

News in brief

This article has been archived. If you would like access to the original article please contact: editor@bpac.org.nz View Article

February 2011

The burden of bronchiectasis in Pacific peoples

In most developed countries the incidence of bronchiectasis has declined over the years. View Article

November 2010

Cough in children

Children who cough are frequently seen in general practice. The challenge is to determine what is “normal” cough from... View Article

July 2010

Do cough and cold medicines work in children?

The short answer is no. There is little evidence that cough and cold preparations have any clinically significant effect on reducing... View Article

July 2010

Smoking related cancer morbidity and mortality

The majority of people with cancer will initially present to general practice, therefore GPs have an excellent opportunity to... View Article

December 2009

Seasonal allergic rhinitis

Seasonal allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as hay fever, can have a significant impact on quality of life. Asthma often co-exists... View Article

November 2009

Management of acute exacerbations of COPD in primary care

An update on COPD; acute exacerbations management, adapted from COPD-X Guidelines; April 2009 revision There is newer/updated... View Article

September 2009

Childhood asthma programme summary

Te huango o te tamaitiA short overview of childhood asthma, best practice special edition and decision support module. View Article

July 2009

Diagnosing and managing influenza

In healthy people influenza is usually self-limiting and uncomplicated however for some groups of people it can be a significant... View Article

June 2009

Self Management Plans for asthma - obsolete or needing a fresh start?

The asthma & respiratory foundation of New Zealand has developed a revised version of its self-management plan for asthma. View Article

June 2009

Selected topics in asthma

Intermittent or persistent asthma? Which inhaled corticosteroid? The role of long acting beta-2 agonists (LABA). Role of nebulisers... View Article

May 2009

Guide to asthma management in children

To compliment the childhood asthma decision support tool. This guide is based on the New Zealand childhood asthma guidelines and... View Article

May 2009

Inequalities in asthma prevalence morbidity and mortality

Māori and Pacific children with asthma suffer more severe symptoms than other children, are hospitalised more frequently... View Article

May 2009

Childhood Asthma: References

References and bibliography View Article

May 2009

Asthma Education Desktop Prompt

This desktop prompt has been used extensively by GPs, practice nurses and asthma educators in Wellington and surrounding areas.... View Article

May 2009

Asthma education for children and their families

Asthma education of the child and the family should lead to an understanding of good control of asthma and the role of medications... View Article

May 2009

Bronchiolitis update

Bronchiolitis is the most common lower respiratory tract infection seen in infants aged less than one year. The bronchiolitis... View Article

April 2009

Influenza vaccine

Influenza is a highly infectious acute respiratory disease. Influenza vaccination is the most effective protection. The vaccine... View Article

April 2009

Why people smoke

There are many reasons why people begin smoking, continue to smoke and find it hard to quit. Clinicians who want to discourage... View Article

February 2009

The management of anaphylaxis in primary care

Anaphylaxis is a potentially fatal hypersensitivity reaction, characterised by rapid onset of life-threatening respiratory and... View Article

December 2008

Anticholinergics for COPD

Two recent studies have raised concern that the use of ipratropium and tiotropium for COPD is associated with an increased risk... View Article

December 2008

The nutritional management of weight loss in COPD

People with COPD are generally underweight, have reduced muscle mass and are often malnourished, leading to other health problems.... View Article

August 2008

Using nebulisers safely

Nebulisers are used to deliver bronchodilators to people with asthma or COPD or antibiotics to those with bronchiectasis. There... View Article

August 2008

Upfront: Reducing inequalities in asthma care for children

Reducing inequalities in asthma care for children. View Article

June 2008

Snippets: Anticonvulsants & Salbutamol

This article has been archived. If you would like access to the original article please contact: editor@bpac.org.nz View Article

June 2008

Snippets: Varenicline & Smoking

Varenicline and suicidal behaviour. Wider access to quit cards.The lung age of smokers. View Article

May 2008

Asthma and chronic cough in Māori children

Māori children with asthma have greater hospital admission rates, present with more severe symptoms and require more days... View Article

May 2008

COPD in primary care: reminder and update

Managing COPD continues to be a major feature of primary care, particularly in practices with a high proportion of Māori... View Article

December 2007


In view of the recent promotion of the SMART regimen, the use of inhalers containing a combination of a long acting beta agonist... View Article

December 2007

Dear Dave

Can Sumatriptan be used safely with SSRIs? Can you ever use beta-blockers in someone with a history of Asthma? View Article

August 2007

Remembering respiratory infections

Revisits the main points of our respiratory infections campaign with feedback on its impact and discusses the question ‘Is... View Article

May 2007

Winter Ills

Bronchiolitis | Cough in children | Fever in children | Acute gastroenteritis in children | Acute asthma in children aged 1-15... View Article

May 2007

Management of acute asthma

In this article we pose four scenarios and asked Respiratory Physician, Professor Robin Taylor to discuss what he would advise... View Article

April 2007

Improving the care of children with asthma

Studies suggest that the majority of children with asthma do not have good control. This appears to be associated with low asthma... View Article

December 2006

10 minute audit

This audit is designed to identify people in your practice on LABAs in order to discuss their Asthma Management Plans and ICS... View Article

December 2006

Update on the use of LABAs for the treatment of Asthma

Long acting beta agonists (LABAs) are useful drugs in asthma management however they should only be prescribed for patients who... View Article

December 2006

COPD update

Tiotropium is an effective option | Long acting beta agonists | Inhaled corticosteroids | Exercise | Should an anticholinergic... View Article

October 2006

Dear Dave

Is it safe to use beta-blockers for cardiac disease in people with COPD? View Article

October 2006

Pharmacological management of asthma in children aged 5–11 years

A brief overview of the recently released Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ guidelines on the management of asthma in children;... View Article

July 2020