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Friday, November 27, 2009

Bronchodilator is not an anti-inflammatory medicine

I know that headline is stating the obvious, yet you'd be amazed at how many bronchodilator breathing traetments I give on patients suffering from an inflammatory disease. 

Okay, so your thinking:  "Well, aren't asthma and COPD often associated with pneumonia?"

Yes, they are.  Yet those diseases are also associated with a bronchospasm (tightening of the bronchial muscles) that is often reversible with a (ahem) bronchodilator (hence the word broncho-dilate).

It is not an inflammatory medicine.  It does not treat the following inflammatory diseases:
  1. Pneumonia
  2. Bronchiolitis
Those illnesses are better treated with either antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medicine such as corticosteroids.

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