Novel bronchodilators for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2011 Aug;32(8):495-506. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Jun 16.


Because of the central role of bronchodilators in the treatment of respiratory diseases, there is still considerable interest in finding novel classes of broncholytic drugs. It can be hypothesized that a longer duration of bronchodilation with a once-daily agent might be associated with superior and more consistent efficacy over a range of endpoints than is achieved with a twice-daily agent. Several novel β(2)-adrenoceptor (AR) agonists, antimuscarinic agents, new combination platforms such as dual-acting muscarinic antagonist-β(2)-AR agonist bronchodilators, xanthine drugs and phosphodiesterase inhibitors, and their combination with another bronchodilator class, or an inhaled corticosteroid are currently under development with the aim of achieving once-daily dosing and, therefore, increasing the likelihood of compliance with therapy. This review paper mainly focuses on recent results of preclinical studies that have used human tissue and clinical trials of new bronchodilators in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / administration & dosage
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Bronchodilator Agents* / administration & dosage
  • Bronchodilator Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy*
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta-2 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / metabolism


  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Bronchodilator Agents
  • Muscarinic Antagonists
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta-2
  • Receptors, Muscarinic