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Treatment of Asthma

Treatment of Asthma

Sample Answer 

Treatment of Asthma

Treatment of Asthma, COPD, or Acute Exacerbation of COPD – Bronchodilators

Bronchodilators are the preferred or first-line options for asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), or acute exacerbations of COPD. Bronchodilators are medicines that function by dilating the airways, thus lowering any form of drag to airflow into the lungs. In general, this lowers dynamic hyperinflation (Carter, 2019). Depending on the patient’s status, long-acting (for COPD and asthma) bronchodilators or short-acting bronchodilators (for acute exacerbations of COPD) can be selected. Typically, various respiratory conditions like COPD and asthma cause bronchospasms or narrowing or constriction of the airways. Constricted airways usually pose a huge challenge for patients during breathing and when passing mucus out during a cough (Price et al., 2014).

Therefore, bronchodilators function by relaxing the airway muscles, making these tubes open and the bronchioles expand. However, the three types of bronchodilators function differently. For example, beta-2 antagonists relax the smooth muscles enclosing the airways by activating beta-adrenoceptors. On the other hand, anticholinergic bronchodilators tend to open and relax airways by blocking acetylcholine action. The last category, xanthine derivatives, also function by relaxing the muscles of the airways. Monitoring the side effects and drug interactions of bronchodilators and other medications like CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) is essential. The common side effects include nausea, dry mouth, cough, tremors, headache, increased heart rate, and low potassium. The common CAM medicines that might interact with bronchodilators include antidepressants (such as tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors), beta-blockers, diuretics, and Alzheimer’s disease medications. Before taking any over-the-counter drug or prescription medicine and a bronchodilator, it is recommended that patients confirm with their pharmacists or primary care providers (Carter, 2019).

Finally, as indicated in Mayo Clinic’s treatment guideline for COPD, bronchodilators are classified as the first-line option. These drugs relax the smooth muscles enclosing bronchioles or airway tubules, helping them to open up or increase in size. Levalbuterol, Ipratropium, and Albuterol are some of the common examples of short-acting bronchodilators. Long-acting ones include Formoterol, Arformoterol, Aclidinium, and Salmeterol. It is also important to note that certain genetic factors must be examined when prescribing bronchodilators, especially for the presence of particular receptors. For example, when prescribing beta-2 agonists (a type of bronchodilator), it is imperative to examine whether the patient has beta-2 receptors, especially in the airway muscles. Besides, it is necessary to consider whether the patient has hyperthyroidism, arrhythmia, hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease.


Carter, A. (2019, June 29). What to know about bronchodilators. Medical News Today.

Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). COPD. Retrieved

Price, D., et al. (2014). Is there a rationale and role for long-acting anticholinergic bronchodilators in asthma? NPJ Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, 24 (1), 14023. doi:10.1038/npjpcrm.2014.23


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Treatment of Asthma

Select a medication and apply evidence or treatment guidelines used for the treatment of asthma, COPD, or an acute exacerbation of COPD. Share the mechanism of action of this medication and hints for monitoring, side effects, and drug interactions, including interactions with CAM. Integrate information regarding where the medication is found in asthma or COPD guidelines. What other considerations need to be made when prescribing these medications in relation to other systems and receptors? Include the name of the medication in the subject line so that the medications can be followed. Include references using APA format.

Treatment of Asthma

Treatment of Asthma

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