These drugs can be in the form of inhalers, tablets, liquid means and injections, but the best way to take beta-agonist and anticholinergics through inhalers.
There are three types of bronchodilators:
- anticholinergic agent;
What are fast acting bronchodilators?
Rapid-acting bronchodilators are called “symptom relief,” instant action, or “analgesic” remedies. Bronchodilators quickly relieve the seizure of the attack, opening the airways. Preparations of instant action are used in case of sudden exacerbation of the disease. Inhalation medication begins to act within a few minutes after inhalation and the effect lasts 2-4 hours. Bronchodilators in inhalers should be taken 15-20 minutes before the start of exercise (with asthma stress).
Rapid-acting bronchodilators can also be used in aerosols to stop an asthma attack at home. As for the pills, they have much less advantages compared with inhalers. Since they have a lot of side effects due to the fact that tableted bronchodilators need to be taken in large doses and before they get into the lungs, they pass through the blood. And inhaled bronchodilators fall directly into the lungs and cause less side effects.
An overdose of rapid-acting bronchodilators, in inhalers, tablets or in liquid form, is a sign of an unstable course of the disease, which requires more aggressive intervention. If you have to use bronchodilators more than twice a week, consult your doctor about changing the treatment program.
What are long-acting bronchodilators?
Long-acting bronchodilators are used to maintain asthma at a specific level (and not to quickly stop an attack). The action of the bronchodilator lasts up to 12 hours. Those bronchodilators that contain formoterol begin to act after a few minutes, and those that contain salmeterol, after 45 minutes.
Long-acting bronchodilators should be taken twice a day. But regular use of bronchodilators without an additional inhaled steroid increases the risk of death. For more information, read the instructions.
Are side effects common when taking bronchodilators?
Bronchodilators act as stimulants and may be accompanied by the following side effects:
- Overexcitement or hyperactivity
- Stomach upset
- Sleep problems (insomnia)
- Muscle aches or cramps
How do anticholinergic bronchodilators work?
Anticholinergic is a bronchodilator used to treat COPD (emphysema) caused by smoking. Such remedies are approved for the treatment of acute asthma attacks in case of emergency hospitalization, but not for daily treatment or for any other conditions. They are rarely effective than albuterol.
Atrovent (anticholinergic bronchodilator) is available as an inhaler and also as an aerosol solution. Dry throat is the most common side effect. If the medicine gets into the eyes, then for some time the vision may deteriorate – the visible will be blurred and fuzzy. Ultra-long-acting anticholinergic drug is available for patients who suffer from COPD caused by smoking. But this medicine is not approved for treatment, controlling the course of asthma.
Is theophylline a bronchodilator?
Theophylline is a relatively weak-acting and inexpensive bronchodilator, which is chemically similar to caffeine. Theophylline makes the heart, central nervous system and skeletal muscles work, and also relaxes smooth muscles, including the muscles of the respiratory tract. Theophylline is sometimes used together with anti-inflammatory drugs to prevent worsening symptoms of nocturnal asthma.
Theophylline is sold as conventional tablets or under the brand names Uniphyl, Theo-Dur, Slo-Bid and Theo-24 and is available for oral (tablet or liquid) or intravenous (through a vein) use. Theophylline is a long-acting agent that prevents asthma attacks. Theophylline is also used to treat difficult-to-control asthma or serious symptoms and should be taken daily.
One of the common medications used to treat asthma is a bronchodilator. Rapid-acting bronchodilators are used only for the rapid “salvation” of asthma during an acute attack. And long-acting bronchodilators are taken daily to control the course of the disease.
Bronchodilators expand the bronchi, which ensures the normal circulation of oxygen. Bronchodilators also help clear the lungs of mucus. Since the airways are open, the mucus moves freely and coughs easily.