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Bronchodilators

When someone has an sudden allergic reaction to a bee sting, a food such as shellfish, or even something as common as dust, the body overreacts and the person experiences extreme difficulty breathing. If not reversed quickly, this reaction, called anaphylaxis, can kill. Lesser reactions, but ones that are still dangerous, include asthma attacks and poisoning.

Bronchodilators are used to immediately treat these conditions. By opening the closed breathing passageways leading into the lungs (the bronchi), bronchodilators restore the person's ability to breathe, gaining valuable time until more specific treatment can be given at a medical facility.

All of the following bronchodilators require a doctor's prescription:

  • Auto-Injectors - The most commonly known bronchodilator is the epinephrine auto-injector. The easy to administer EpiPen for adults and EpiPenJr for children is widely prescribed. There are disguise kits that hide these in fake pagers or cellphones that are helpful when prescribed for children.
  • Inhalers - For people suffering breathing problems related to asthma and similar chronic disorders, a spray delivery system called an inhaler is frequently prescribed. The inhaler accepts a small inverted bottle of the bronchodilator medication and delivers a metered dose when placed up to the mouth and squeezed.
  • Nebulizers - A nebulizer uses a chemical reaction to mix the bronchodilator with moisture in the air and carry the medication into the lungs when you breathe in. The nebulizer looks similar to a peace pipe, and can be used in conjuction with an oxygen mask in cases of extreme difficulty breathing.
  • Pills- For extended release of bronchodilator

    medication, pills can be taken on a prescribed basis. This style of delivery is effective for longterm reduction of low level anaphylactic symptoms but are usually not sufficient to counteract the effects of a bee sting.

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