• Harold S. Nelson


The β2-adrenergic agonists are the most effective bronchodilators for patients with bronchial asthma. They have been demonstrated to be superior to theophylline and anticholinergic agents for producing immediate bronchodilation (1), to sustained-release theophylline for maintenance therapy (2) and for treatment of acute severe episodes of asthma (3), and to anticholinergics, methylxanthines, and cromolyn for prevention of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (4). Despite this impressive evidence for their effectiveness in controlling the symptoms of bronchial asthma, avoidance of the use of the β-agonist except for very occasional treatment of acute symptoms has been advocated, owing to concerns regarding their safety when employed on a regular basis (5–9). These reservations regarding the use of β-agonists stem from a number of observations of undesired consequences that have been reported with their regular use (Table 1).


Asthma Control Allergy Clin Immunol Respir Crit Eosinophil Cationic Protein Bronchodilator Response 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

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  • Harold S. Nelson

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