Asthma is a disorder caused by an imbalance in the mechanisms that normally control the constriction and dilation of the bronchial airways. The major defect in the majority of asthmatic subjects involves a lack of normal beta receptor activity allowing normal alpha and cholinergic activity to promote bronchospasm. This condition will be triggered by any number of influences, capitalizing on the basic disorder in the airways. Since the major defect in most asthmatic subjects is a lack of beta receptor activity and therefore a failure to activate biochemical mechanisms that produce cyclic AMP, a logical corrective approach to therapy involves the administration to patients of selective and potent beta2 agonists that will stimulate, pharmacologically, the beta2 receptor and thus supply the AMP needed to produce bronchodilation. The emphasis in using beta2 agonists should be on both the prophylactic use of these agents and their delivery to the patient via his disordered airways. Safety and efficacy are both improved by such an approach.
Section of Clinical Immunology, Yale Medical School
Publication date: June 1, 1983
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Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.
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