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New Compound May Make Rescue Inhalers Work Better

Last updated: September 2023

As a self-professed nerd, I am constantly reading research articles. Today I came across a very interesting article. This is one of my favorite sites for learning about what is new in respiratory therapy. Today’s top article talked about a “new compound” that may make rescue medicine work better.1

If rescue medicine can be made better, I’m all for that. I’m sure pretty much all of us here in this community feel the same. Right?

How does rescue medicines work

Before I name the compound, let’s talk about how rescue medicine works.

Rescue medicine is also referred to as beta-agonists or beta-2 agonists. They are inhaled using either inhalers or nebulizers.

Once inhaled, the medicine has a high affinity to and binds with beta 2 receptors lining your airways. Once this happens, a series of chemical reactions occur. This causes smooth muscles wrapped around the airways to relax.2

This makes breathing easier in a matter of seconds. This is what makes rescue medicine so attractive to people living with asthma and COPD. This is why most of us living with asthma more COPD have rescue medicine on hand all the time.

If rescue medicine is used occasionally, it is very effective. However, if it is used all the time (such as every 4 hours around the clock) it can become less effective.

This is because after binding with a medicine, receptors become desensitized. This means they don’t let the medicine bind with it for a while. So, you could use your rescue inhaler again, but it won’t work as well.1,3

This new compound is thought to remedy this problem.

New compounds for receptor adherence

The new compound is called NAP and PAM. This is an acronym for negative allosteric modulators and positive allosteric modulators. These are compounds that can be added to medicines to make them adhere to receptors better. It does not allow for the receptor to become desensitized.4,5

Or, as the author of the RT magazine notes, it makes the receptor sites stickier. This forces them to accept the medicine regardless of how often it is inhaled, making it stronger.

It could also make it more effective. It makes it stay in your system and last longer. Because it is more effective this way, less of it is needed. Since less of it is needed, this means fewer side effects.

Stronger, longer-lasting rescue medicine with fewer side effects. Sounds good, hey?

Allosteric modulators are not limited to rescue medicine. They may be added to other medicines and improve them too. For instance, it’s possible they may be added to controller medicines like Symbicort and Trelegy to make them better.

This is another testament to how deep researchers are getting in their research. It shows that, along with working hard to find newer treatment options, they are also working to make our current treatments work better, and that’s good news for all of us living with a chronic disease.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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