Medications as asthma triggers

Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2005 Feb;25(1):169-90. doi: 10.1016/j.iac.2004.09.009.


Certain medications can generate asthma symptoms, with the potential to cause considerable morbidity. This article focuses on the common drugs that have the potential to cause distinct respiratory reactions in asthmatics: aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, beta-blockers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. The means by which these medications can trigger asthma vary in terms of acuity of onset, severity, and the mechanisms involved. The general and most practical approach is avoidance and cautious use of these drugs in asthmatics. However, these classes of medications can exert a major role in the management of common and serious diseases. Fortunately, controller therapy for asthma and alternative or more selective medications for the treatment of these conditions are now available.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / adverse effects*
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Asthma / chemically induced*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Prevalence


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal