Bronchoconstriction is the constriction of airways in the lungs, caused by smooth muscle contraction in the lungs decreasing their diameter. Both the autonomic nervous system and chemical mediators are responsible for regulating this process.
There are drugs that can cause bronchoconstriction such as: muscarinic agonists (e.g. pilocarpine), β2 noradrenergic receptor antagonists (e.g. propranolol), A1 noradrenergic receptor antagonists (e.g. prazosin) and H1 agonists (e.g. histamine).
Asthma, a common ailment in which airways become irritated and bronchoconstriction causes difficulty breathing, is treated by drugs that inhibit bronchoconstriction and allow bronchodilation to occur.
- ↑ Larson Jr, Jaffe, Practical Anaesthetic Management, The Art of Anaesthesiology, 1st Edition, Springer International Publishing, 2017, 52 - 53