Over-reliance on β 2-agonists may worsen the clinical course Bronchodilators in asthma: How effective and safe?

Stephen I. Rennard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

β 2-Agonists, ipratropium, and theophylline relieve asthma symptoms by relaxing bronchial smooth muscle; none have clinically relevant anti-inflammatory properties. Bronchodilators may be used alone for mild, intermittent asthma. However, if symptoms occur more than three times weekly or more than twice monthly at night, use an inhaled anti-inflammatory drug as primary therapy and a shorter-acting inhaled β 2-agonist as a "rescue" medication for breakthrough symptoms. If needed, a long-acting bronchodilator may be added to control nighttime symptoms. Long-term use of bronchodilators as the only therapy for moderate to severe asthma may increase airway responsiveness, cause tolerance, delay recognition of worsening asthma, and prevent timely initiation of anti-inflammatory therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S14-S18
JournalJournal of Respiratory Diseases
Volume19
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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