Bronchodilator Medicines for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection
These medicines may be given by
nebulizer, injection, or mouth (orally).
How It Works
medicines) relax the muscle layer that surrounds the small breathing tubes
(bronchioles ), allowing the tubes to expand and move air
Why It Is Used
Bronchodilators may be used to
wheezing, a problem that can occur from
respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection.
- Often a child who wheezes is given a single treatment by
nebulizer to see whether the medicine reduces
wheezing. Some children will improve with these medicines.
- If wheezing is less after one dose of a bronchodilator, the
medicine is usually added to the child's treatment plan.
Bronchodilators are commonly used for
asthma and similar problems. They act quickly when
given by nebulizer, metered-dose
inhaler, or injection to improve breathing and reduce
How Well It Works
Bronchodilators relax the small
tubes in the lungs. About half the time, they help babies who have RSV breathe easier.1
Side effects of bronchodilators
Anxiety, agitation, or hyperactivity.
- Muscle tremors.
- Rapid heartbeat.
Nausea or vomiting.
Side effects are more likely to occur with oral or injected
medicine. These side effects are less common when the medicine is
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
The use of bronchodilators in
children is controversial. Research so far has not shown consistent long-term
benefit for most children.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Horga MA, Moscona A (2006). Respiratory syncytial
virus. In FD Burg et al., eds., Current Pediatric Therapy, 18th ed., pp. 793-797. Philadelphia: Saunders