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How do anticholinergic bronchodilators work?

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Anticholinergics are bronchodilators mainly used to treat COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease such as emphysema) and asthma.

Atrovent (an anticholinergic bronchodilator) is used to treat COPD. It is available as an inhaler and also in a nebulizer solution. A dry throat is the most common side effect. If the medication gets in the eyes, it may cause blurred vision for a short period of time.

Revefenacin (Yupelri) is a new medication used daily to help those with COPD breathe easier. Long-acting, it is taken once a day with a nebulizer.

A long-acting anticholinergic inhaler, tiotropium bromide (Spiriva Respimat) may be used by asthmatics and those with COPD. For treating asthma, people 6 years of age and older may use this medication once daily as a long-term maintenance drug. For COPD, this drug may be used as a long-term maintenance medication and for treating COPD exacerbations when airway obstruction persists after an inhaled bronchodilator.

SOURCES:
American Academy of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology: "Asthma" and "Allergy and Asthma Drug Guide."

National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Inhaled Medication with a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)." 
Asthma Society of Canada: "How to Use Your Inhaler."
Science Daily: "New Asthma Inhaler Propellant Effective, but Costlier."
Children's Hospital Boston: "Allergy Treatment."
Boehringer Ingelheim: "US FDA Expands Approval of Tiotropium Respimat® for Maintenance Treatment of Asthma in Children."
FDA. Prescribing Information: Spiriva Respimat.

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on December 20, 2019

SOURCES:
American Academy of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology: "Asthma" and "Allergy and Asthma Drug Guide."

National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Inhaled Medication with a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)." 
Asthma Society of Canada: "How to Use Your Inhaler."
Science Daily: "New Asthma Inhaler Propellant Effective, but Costlier."
Children's Hospital Boston: "Allergy Treatment."
Boehringer Ingelheim: "US FDA Expands Approval of Tiotropium Respimat® for Maintenance Treatment of Asthma in Children."
FDA. Prescribing Information: Spiriva Respimat.

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on December 20, 2019

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