• Nebulized, selective β2-adrenergic agents were shown to be a safe and effective alternative to subcutaneous epinephrine chloride in the treatment of acute asthma attacks. Results of a trial of nebulized 1% isoetharine hydrochloride and 0.5% fenoterol in 40 patients with acute attacks of wheezing is reported. Both groups showed significant improvement on forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), maximum expiratory flow at 25% and 50% vital capacity but those who received fenoterol therapy showed more significant bronchodilation after one hour. Based on clinical criteria and the ability to raise and maintain for four hours an FEV1 by 15% above baseline, ten (50%) of the patients who received isoetharine and 16 (80%) of the patients who received fenoterol therapy were successes. Mild side effects were encountered in eight patients of each treatment group. Fenoterol therapy was significantly more effective and had a longer duration of action.
(Arch Intern Med 1983;143:1361-1364)