The effect of inhaled salbutamol and salmeterol on lung function and endurance performance in healthy well-trained athletes

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 1997 Jun;7(3):160-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.1997.tb00133.x.


The present randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study aimed at investigating the possible improvement in endurance performance caused by inhaled salmeterol (long-acting beta 2-agonist) and salbutamol (short-acting) compared to placebo in 18 healthy well-trained athletes, aged 17-30 years old. Lung function (flow-volume loops) was measured before and after each inhaled study drug and after run to exhaustion. After inhalation of study drug and 10 min warm-up, anaerobic threshold was measured; thereafter maximum oxygen uptake, peak ventilation and running time until exhaustion during a brief graded exercise were measured. No significant differences were found for ventilation, oxygen uptake or heart rate at anaerobic threshold or at maximum performance between placebo and the beta 2-agonists. Lung function increased significantly after exercise, but without differences between the beta 2-agonists and placebo. Running time till exhaustion was significantly reduced after both the long- and the short-acting beta 2-agonist compared to the placebo.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / administration & dosage*
  • Adult
  • Albuterol / administration & dosage*
  • Albuterol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Pulmonary Ventilation / drug effects
  • Running / physiology
  • Salmeterol Xinafoate


  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Salmeterol Xinafoate
  • Albuterol