Friday, February 17, 2006

The granddaddy of Atrovent and Spiriva

The nineteenth and early twentieth century predecessor of these inhaled drugs for COPD was Dr. Schiffmann’s Asthmador. It worked because of its anticholinergic properties residing in the active ingredient belladonna. Like Atrovent and Spiriva it blocked muscarinic receptors in the bronchial tree, resulting in bronchodilation.

It’s certainly more “natural” than Atrovent and Spiriva. I suspect the NCCAM would be subjecting it to the rigors of evidence based medicine were it not for a particular disadvantage---the product had to be smoked in a pipe or as a cigarette---a bit of a problem for folks who use supplemental oxygen.

1 comment:

Eli Freedman said...

I have had asthma since birth (1927). In the 1930s, when I was having a severe attack, my mother would burn "Asthmador" powder in a dish. It was really effective! In the 1940s, I replaced it with a cumbersome inhaler using some form of adrenaline.