Prehospital pharmacological interventions in acute asthma: A rationale for use

Ambulance service practitioners have an array of medicines available to alleviate the symptoms of an acute asthma attack; these include sympathomimetics (β-adrenoreceptor agonists and β-adrenoreceptor agonists), antimuscarinic agents (sometimes referred to as anticholinergic agents) and corticosteroids. In order to provide the best level of care to a patient suffering from an acute asthma attack it is essential that the attending practitioner understands the mechanism of action of the medicines he/she will administer and the adverse effects of those medicines. This article provides an overview of the mode of action of these medicines, discusses why the adverse effects occur, and questions JRCALC guidelines.

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