How does albuterol help treat pulmonary diseases?

Audrey K. Chun, MD
Geriatric Medicine
Albuterol is in a class of medications called adrenergic bronchodilators. These drugs stimulate the beta-2 receptors in the muscles in the walls of the bronchioles (the small airways in the lungs), preventing and treating bronchospasms, which are sudden constrictions of these muscles. These spasms narrow the airways, causing the wheezing, coughing, labored breathing and chest tightness that accompany lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Albuterol relaxes the smooth muscle cells in the bronchioles, dilating the air passages to the lungs and making breathing easier.

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