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Thursday 01 March 2001

Single-isomer beta-agonists.

By: Handley DA.

Pharmacotherapy 2001 Mar;21(3 Pt 2):21S-27S

A new generation of bronchodilators is being developed for acute asthma management-single-isomer beta-agonists. These drugs consist only of the active bronchodilatory isomer (eutomer); they do not have the inactive and potentially harmful isomer (distomer) that is present in marketed racemic beta-agonists. Clinical studies comparing the effectiveness of (R)-albuterol (levalbuterol) with racemic albuterol established a strong rationale for using single-isomer beta-agonists in place of the racemic mixture: reduced dosages provide equivalent bronchodilatory effects with fewer beta-mediated side effects. Higher dosages achieve superior bronchodilation in episodes of severe asthma and may reduce costs of emergency department treatment.

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