Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis (Black Lung Disease) Medication

Updated: Dec 19, 2019
  • Author: Fatima J Wong, DO; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Medication

Bronchodilators

Class Summary

These agents decrease muscle tone in both the small and large airways of the lungs, thereby increasing ventilation. This category includes beta-adrenergic agents, methylxanthines, and anticholinergics.

Albuterol (AccuNeb, ProAir Digihaler, Proair HFA)

Albuterol is a beta2 agonist that relaxes bronchial smooth muscle by action on beta2 receptors, with little effect on cardiac muscle contractility. Most patients (even those who have no measurable increase in expiratory flow) benefit from treatment. Inhaled beta-agonists initially are prescribed as needed. Frequency may be increased. Institute a regular schedule in patients on anticholinergic drugs who remain symptomatic. Albuterol is available as liquid for nebulizer, MDIs, and dry-powder inhalers.

Metaproterenol

Metaproterenol relaxes bronchial smooth muscle by action on beta2 receptors, with little effect on cardiac muscle contractility. Most patients (even those who have no measurable increase in expiratory flow) benefit from treatment. Inhaled beta-agonists initially are prescribed as needed. Frequency may be increased. Institute a regular schedule in patients on anticholinergic drugs who remain symptomatic. Metaproterenol is available as liquid for nebulizer, MDIs, and dry-powder inhalers.

Levalbuterol (Xopenex, Xopenex HFA)

Levalbuterol is used for the treatment or prevention of bronchospasm. It is a selective beta2-agonist agent. Albuterol is a racemic mixture, while levalbuterol contains only the active R-enantiomer of albuterol. The S-enantiomer does not bind to beta2-receptors, but it may be responsible for some adverse effects of racemic albuterol, including bronchial hyperreactivity and reduced pulmonary function during prolonged use.

Ipratropium (Atrovent, Atrovent HFA)

Ipratropium is chemically related to atropine. It has antisecretory properties, and, when applied locally, it inhibits secretions from serous and seromucous glands lining the nasal mucosa. Ipratropium is used on a fixed schedule with a beta-agonist.

Indacaterol, inhaled (Arcapta Neohaler)

Indacaterol is a long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA) indicated for long-term, once-daily maintenance bronchodilator treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema. LABAs act locally in the lungs as bronchodilators. Indacaterol stimulates intracellular adenyl cyclase, causing conversion of ATP to cyclic AMP; increased cyclic AMP levels cause relaxation of bronchial smooth muscle. It is not for use as initial therapy in patients with acute deteriorating COPD.

Tiotropium (Spiriva HandiHaler, Spiriva Respimat)

Tiotropium is a quaternary ammonium compound. It elicits anticholinergic/antimuscarinic effects with inhibitory effects on M3 receptors on airway smooth muscles, leading to bronchodilation. It is available as a capsule dosage form containing a dry powder for oral inhalation via the HandiHaler inhalation device. It helps COPD patients by dilating narrowed airways and keeping them open for 24 hours.

Aclidinium (Tudorza Pressair)

Aclidinium is an M1-M3 muscarinic agonist (LAMA). It inhibits M3 receptors, leading to smooth muscle relaxation of bronchi; this leads to subsequent bronchodilation. Prevention of acetylcholine-induced bronchoconstriction effects were dose-dependent in in vitro and in vivo studies and lasted longer than 24 hours.