Beta-blockers and asthma.
In a single-blind, randomised, crossover study in 10 asthmatic patients, the effects of approximately equipotent oral doses of 3 cardioselective beta-blockers-atenolol (100 mg), metoprolol (100 mg), and acebutolol (300 mg)-and 4 non-cardioselective beta-blockers-proranolol (100 mg), oxprenolol (100 mg), pindolol (5 mg), and timolol (10 mg) upon FEV1 were compared. All drugs, except pindolol, produced a significant reduction in standing pulse rate and prevented an increase in heart rate after inhaled isoprenaline (1500 microgram). All drugs caused a fall in FEV1 but only atenolol did not differ significantly from placebo in this respect. The bronchodilator response to inhaled isoprenaline was blocked by the 4 non-cardioselective drugs; the 3 cardioselective agents permitted some bronchodilatation, but only atenolol did not differ from placebo.