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In this entry, I would like to discuss the implications of some recently published basic science research on the function of beta agonists -- the most common class of quick-relief inhalers that includes albuterol. While the research was done with mice, it has implications on human asthma treatment, particularly in light of recent controversies of the risks of long acting beta agonists (LABAs) in asthma treatment.
How beta agonists work and what do mice have to do with this? Beta agonists get their name from their mechanism of action -- the complete name is Beta adrenergic receptor agonists. Drugs have their effects on cells in two main ways: a) by getting into the cell through the cell wall and acting directly to change the machinery of the cell and b) by engaging a receptor on the cell surface - a sort of messenger on the surface of the cell that communicates the message to the inside of the cell.
Beta agonists work in the second way; they bind the beta adrenergic receptor on t...
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Quitting Smoking It's never too late to quit smoking. According to the American Cancer Society, about half of all smokers who keep smoking will die from a smoking-related disease. Quitting has immediate health benefits. Better Health After Quitting Time after last cigarette Physical Response 20 minutes Blood pressure and pulse rates return to normal. 8 hours Levels of carbon monoxide and oxygen in the blood return to normal. 24 hours Chance of a heart attack begins to decrease. 48 hours Nerve endings start to regrow. Your ability to taste and smell increases. 72 hours Bronchial tubes relax and the lungs can fill with more air. 2 weeks to 3 months Improved circulation; lung function increases by up to 30%. 1 to 9 months Decreased rates of coughing, sinus infection, fatigue, and shortness of breath; regrowth of cilia in the airways, improving the ability to clear mucus and clean the lungs and reducing the chance of infection; increased energy level. Long-Term Effects After a year, the risk of dying from a ...
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