Selective beta-2 adrenoreceptor agonists (or beta-2 agonists), are more commonly known as asthma 'relievers' or bronchodilators. They are drugs that relax and open up the airways (bronchi) to the lungs, which become narrowed during an asthma attack.
The best known drugs of this group are salbutamol (e.g. Ventolin, Volmax) and terbutaline (Bricanyl).
Adrenaline and noradrenaline, powerful neurotransmitters in the sympathetic part of the central nervous system, act through specific receptors (α1, α2 and β1, β2) located in various tissues including skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. A β-agonist can be described as a substance that stimulates the β-receptors. The most prominent representatives of β2-agonists are clenbuterol and salbutamol used primarily for the treatment of asthma and related bronchial spasms. Considering the fact that about 10-15% of Olympic athletes exhibit asthma syndromes the use of β2- agonists is relatively high. β2-agonists exhibit also muscle anabolic and lipolytic properties. Because of relatively low adverse effects of the β2-agonists application they are considered by some athletes as a “safe” alternative to anabolic androgenic steroids.
Within this Crosstalk-Box you can choose the side effects of beta-2 agonists on selected body systems.