Anything that opens or expands the (that part of the body that conveys air to and from the lungs).
Bronchodilating drugs are usually prescribed if a cough occurs with airway narrowing and
can reduce coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Bronchodilators can be taken orally, injected or inhaled and begin
to act almost immediately but with the effect only lasting 4-6 hours.
The most common bronchodilators are:
- Beta-adrenergic receptor agonists.
These are the drugs used most commonly to relieve a sudden attack or to prevent an attack during exercise.
This type of bronchodilator stimulates beta-adrenergic receptors to widen the airways. Beta-adrenergic receptor agonists
act either on all beta-adrenergic receptors (e.g. ) which can cause side effects such as headache, muscle tremors
and restlessness. However there also exist drugs of this class that act only on beta2-adrenergic receptors in the lungs,
thus causing less side effects.
Drugs of this class, such as ipratropium bromide and atropine, block acetlycholine from causing smooth muscle contractions
and from producing excess mucus in the bronchi. These drugs futher widen the airways of people who are already taking
beta2-adrenergic receptor agonists.
Drug used in asthma treatment and prevention.