Which medications are used in the pharmacologic treatment of status asthmaticus?

Updated: Jun 17, 2020
  • Author: Constantine K Saadeh, MD; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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The following agents are used in the pharmacologic treatment of status asthmaticus:

  • Beta2-agonists - The first line of therapy in status asthmaticus

  • Anticholinergics - Are believed to work centrally by suppressing conduction in vestibular cerebellar pathways

  • Glucocorticosteroids - Among other therapeutic activities, can decrease mucus production, improve oxygenation, reduce beta-agonist or theophylline requirements, and activate properties that may prevent late bronchoconstrictive responses to allergies and provocation

  • Bronchodilators - Methylxanthines are weaker bronchodilators than beta-agonists and have many adverse effects. Intravenous magnesium sulfate can relax smooth muscle and hence cause bronchodilation by competing with calcium at calcium-mediated smooth muscle binding sites.

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