The effectiveness of inhaled versus oral metaproterenol in preventing exercise-induced asthma (EIA) was studied.
Inhaled metaproterenol given 10 min before the exercise significantly reduced the degree of EIA in a group of twenty-four patients, and in 75% of them completely prevented it. The mean percentage decrease in FEV1 was 6-5% with the inhaler and 30.1%, with placebo. When inhaled 1 hr before the exercise, metaproterenol was still better than placebo but its effectiveness was considerably lower. Metaproterenol tablets had a slight protective effect given I hr before, and none when administered 2 hr before exercise.
There was no correlation between the protective effect against EIA and the bronchodilating effect obtained before exercise. Metaproterenol administered by metered-dose inhaler is a very effective prophylactic medication against clinically troublesome EIA, while metaproterenol tablets should not be recommended for this purpose.
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