Formoterol, a new long-acting β2-agonist
Formoterol is a long acting, fast onset of action bronchodilator which is inreasingly widly used for the treatment of reversible airflow obstruction. Extensive clinical trials have demonstrated that formoterol produces bronchodilation lasting 12 hours with a very rapid onset of action (2–3 min.). These properties support the use of formoterol in clinical situations where sustained relief or prophylaxis of airflow obstruction is warranted, for example in moderate or severe asthmatics and those suffering from nocturnal asthma. While the clinical advantages of formoterol over more familiar drugs such as salbutamol and terbutaline have been relatively easy to demonstrate understanding exactly why Formoterol has these properties has required extensive molecular pharmacology and biophysical analysis.