Feb 14, 2006

Beta-adrenoceptor responses of the airways: for better or worse?

European Journal of Pharmacology
Kenneth J Broadley


Beta2-adrenoceptor agonists are the first-line treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), in which a short-acting beta2-adrenoceptor agonist is used as required for relief of bronchoconstriction. A long-acting beta2-adrenoceptor agonist may be added to an inhaled corticosteroid as step 3 in the management of chronic asthma. Long-acting beta2-adrenoceptor agonists may also be added in treatment of COPD. This review examines the beneficial and detrimental effects of beta2-adrenoceptor agonists. The beneficial effects of beta2-adrenoceptor agonists are mainly derived from their bronchodilator activity which relieves the bronchiolar narrowing and improves air flow. The potential anti-inflammatory actions of stabilizing mast cell degranulation and release of inflammatory and bronchoconstrictor mediators, is considered. Other potential beneficial responses include improvements in mucociliary clearance and inhibition of extravasation of plasma proteins that is involved in oedema formation in asthma. The side effects of beta2-adrenoceptor agonists are primarily related to beta2-adrenoceptor-mediated responses at sites outside the airways. Of major concern has been the development of tolerance and this is disc...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Histamine Measurement
Molecular Stereochemistry
Chronic Airflow Obstruction
Bronchial System
Morbidity Aspects
Eosinophil cationic protein

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