What is the role of phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE-4) in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

Updated: Nov 13, 2020
  • Author: Paul Kleinschmidt, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Selective PDE-4 inhibitors increase intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and result in bronchodilation. Additionally, they may improve diaphragm muscle contractility and stimulate the respiratory center. Theophylline is a nonspecific phosphodiesterase inhibitor and is now limited to use as an adjunctive agent.

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