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Editorials |

β2 Déjà Vu

Paul M. O’Byrne, MB, FCCP; Ellinor Ädelroth, MD, PhD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Hamilton, ON, Canada
 ,  Umeå, Sweden
 ,  Dr. O’Byrne is affiliated with the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and with the Department of Medicine, McMaster University. Dr. Ädelroth is affiliated with the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section for Respiratory Medicine and Allergy, Umeå University.

Correspondence to: Paul M. O’Byrne, MB, FCCP, McMaster University, Department of Medicine, 1200 Main St West, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8N 3Z5; e-mail: obyrnep@mcmaster.ca



Chest. 2006;129(1):3-5. doi:10.1378/chest.129.1.3
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Inhaled β2-agonists have been used for > 40 years in the treatment of asthma. Until fairly recently, their regular use had been advocated as the first-line therapy for asthma treatment. This is because inhaled β2-agonists provide rapid bronchodilation as a result of their action as airway smooth muscle relaxants, and, thus, provide rapid improvement of symptoms. Also, inhaled β2-agonists protect against stimuli, such as exercise, allergen, or pollutants, that cause bronchoconstriction in asthmatic patients. For these reasons, inhaled β2-agonists are the most widely prescribed and used drug in the treatment of asthma in many (possibly most) countries, and their regular use is still regarded by many physicians as a first-line treatment option.

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