Asthma and allergies

Salbutamol inhalerI’ve probably mentioned it before, I suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis and exercise-induced bronchospasm, you might know them as hayfever and asthma, respectively. Needless to say, I have regular asthma and allergy medications to take. As such conditions are apparently on the rise, this photo probably contains elements that are becoming increasingly familiar to a growing number of you.

You might be interested to know that this seemingly modern disease is commonly treated with a drug having a natural origin. Salbutamol (albutamol, Ventolin), the drug in the classic blue inhaler, evolved through R&D from adrenaline (epinephrine) which causes bronchodilation but also hits on the heart as well as causing anxiety (it is the fight or flight hormone, after all). Salbutamol had fewer cardiac issues.

Salbutamol is a short-acting beta2-adrenergic receptor agonist used for the relief of bronchospasm in conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline as Ventolin, Aerolin or Ventorlin depending on the market; by Cipla as Asthalin; by Schering-Plough as Proventil and by Teva as ProAir.

Salbutamol was the first drug of its class to be marketed back in 1968. It was first sold by Allen & Hanburys under the brand name Ventolin. The drug was an instant success, and has been used for the treatment of asthma ever since.

It’s years since I used salbutamol for my bronchospasm, having been prescribed modern combined medication that contains a fluorine-containing anti-inflammatory corticosteroid and a long-acting bronchodilator related to salbumatol but with even less cardiac issues.

You might like to check out this introductory lecture on drug design from Hull University. It’s in PDF format linked to by friend of the ‘Storm, Robert Slinn.