, Volume 168, Supplement 1, pp 295–303 | Cite as

The role of anticholinergic bronchodilators in adult asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

  • K. R. Chapman
The Role Of Anticholinergic Bronchodilator Therapy In Children And Adults


Our renewed interest in anticholinergic bronchodilator therapy has been sparked by the development of safe yet effective quaternary anticholinergic compounds including ipratropium bromide, oxitropium and atropine methonitrate. These agents offer gradual and sustained bronchodilatation to patients with asthma and to patients with COPD. However, their role in the maintenance treatment of these two diseases differs significantly. In asthma, the anticholinergic drugs have useful additive properties when used with adrenergic drugs or theophylline. They may be a particularly useful component of combination regimens in patients with disease of more than mild severity and in older patients. The combination of inhaled adrenergic and anticholinergic drugs is also useful in the acute setting for acute exacerbations of asthma. In chronic obstructive lung disease, the anticholinergic compounds offer greater bronchodilatation than adrenergic drugs for the majority of patients. Thus, the inhaled anticholinergic drugs may be considered as useful initial choices in the chronic maintenance therapy of COPD.

Key words

Quaternary anticholinergic Asthma COPD 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. R. Chapman
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Respiratory Medicine, Toronto Western Hospital and Department of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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