The bronchodilators are medicines used to treat and to prevent bronchoconstriction, that is, abnormal or pathological contraction of the bronchial wall muscles. For example, this occurs in diseases such as asthma, pneumonia, or chronic obstructive bronchopulmonary disease (COPD). The bronchodilators dilate the bronchi and therefore improve respiratory function.
These medicines are divided into two major categories:
- the beta-agonists and
- the anti-cholinergics
They are administered by inhalation, either in sprays, in inhalers, or orally. Bronchodilators can cause several types of side effects. In particular, cardiac palpitations, difficulty sleeping, muscle cramps and hand tremor.
Source : Merck Manuel, 4th edition
Asthmatic patients inhale bronchodilaters in an attack. © Phovoir
Bronchodilatator - 1 Photo