Increases tension asthma
Beta-2 sympathomimetics cause the smooth muscles in the walls of the bronchi to relax. Their tone (tension) is physiologically regulated by the autonomic nervous system and here in particular via the so-called "sympathetic nervous system". With the help of messenger substances that bind to receptors, it transmits the signal to the muscle cells for relaxation. The beta-2 sympathomimetics also attach to these receptors. In this way, drugs of this group of substances reduce the muscle tension in the bronchi and thus lead to an expansion of the airways. The formation of mucus is also reduced by beta-2 sympathomimetics.
Beta-2 sympathomimetics are part of the basic therapy asthmaand more symptomatic COPD. This means that all patients with these lung diseases are prescribed such active ingredients, at least as medication on demand, i.e. to alleviate acute symptoms. A big plus of the beta-2 sympathomimetics is that their airway-widening effect sets in very quickly. In more advanced stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchial asthma, these drugs are also used for long-term therapy. Then long-acting substances of the group of substances are used.
Type of application / administration
Beta-2 sympathomimetics are most commonly used by inhalation, i.e. as a metered dose aerosol, spray or inhaler. This has the advantage that its effects are limited locally to the lungs and airways. In acute situations, for example in the event of a severe asthma attack, or in advanced stages of the disease, they can also be given systemically - as a tablet, syringe or infusion.
Since beta receptors are not only found in the bronchial wall, but also in other organs such as the heart and the blood vessel system, various side effects can occur, especially with systemic use of beta-2 sympathomimetics. These include tremors, sweating, inner restlessness, sleep problems and an increase in heart rate up to cardiac arrhythmias. When inhaled, the risk of side effects is significantly lower, since the active ingredient unfolds its effects primarily on site - i.e. in the respiratory tract - and only enters the bloodstream in small quantities.
Fast-acting beta-2 sympathomimetics can be: Bambuterol, Clenbuterol, Fenoterol, Salbutamol, Terbutalin or Tulobuterol. Long-acting beta-2 sympathomimetics are, for example, salmeterol, formoterol and indacaterol.
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