Bronchodilators

Bronchodilators are medications that relax (dilate) the airways of the lungs (bronchial tubes), making it easier to breathe in more air.

Bronchodilators are usually given through an inhaler, which makes a fine mist that the person breathes through the mouth and into his or her lungs. Inhaled bronchodilators are preferred for treating respiratory problems, such as asthma, because they cause few side effects and are effective.

Bronchodilators are occasionally given in pill form or as an injection under the skin for a person who cannot use an inhaler.

Last Updated: April 21, 2009

Author: Maria G. Essig, MS, ELS

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Harold S. Nelson, MD - Allergy and Immunology

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