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Side Effects of Bronchodilators

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Few drugs are without side effects, but your doctor will probably feel that the risks associated with some medications are worth the benefits you will gain. If you are concerned about long term use of some of these drugs, consult your doctor. By relaxing the tiny tubes in the lungs, these drugs provide immediate relief during an attack when the tubes constrict, producing shortness of breath and wheezing.

However, regular overuse of beta agonists can make your lungs worse, not better. Overuse interferes with the smooth lining of the airways, affecting the breakdown of magnesium, which prevents the airways from tightening. This makes them even more sensitive. The more you use your bronchodilator, the greater the dosage you will need to achieve the same effect.

If you stop taking your medication your asthma will be worse than before. Some doctors believe that over prescription of asthma drugs has contributed to the enormous rise in people suffering from asthma. Researches in New Zealand found that an asthma epidemic and a number of asthma deaths in the 1980s were caused by the high dose bronchodilator fenoterol. They calculated that someone with severe asthma using the drug was 13 times more likely to die than someone using a low dose reliever, because the drug stimulated the heart as well as the lungs.

Similarly, a study carried out in a number of medical schools in the United States shows that use of the drugs fenoterol and salbutamol, taken by a metered dose inhaler, was linked with an increased risk of death and near death. These risks are linked with very high doses. So it is important to use your bronchodilator only when you really need it. Doctor recommends that you do not use it more than once a day. It is vital always to follow your doctor's instructions.

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