Hilda Wilde is a 45-year-old woman who was diagnosed with asthma as a child. She recalls her first asthma attack being horrendous; chest tightness, difficulty breathing, wheezing, feeling anxious and sweating profusely. She was rushed to hospital and spent many days in hospital as a child until she managed to work out the triggers and control it early. The triggers for her asthma were cold temperatures, pollen, smoky environments and respiratory infections/colds, which continue to be the triggers throughout her adult life. She also developed hay fever and an allergy to penicillin in her 20’s, which didn’t surprise her as her mum also had these conditions.
One cold Spring day Hilda is outside gardening as she is finding herself stressed by the current coronavirus and gardening usually relaxes her. Hilda is making good progress on weeding when she starts to experience those dreaded sensations she knows only too well; tightness in the chest, shortness of breath and dizziness. She starts to wheeze and cannot stop coughing. Her husband notices Hilda is struggling and brings Hilda’s inhaler (Ventolin) for her. Hilda’s wheezing and shortness of breath does not ease off, even with her inhaler. She finds it hard to talk or get up and walk. Her lips start to turn blue. Hilda’s husband calls an ambulance and Hilda is taken to hospital where she is given corticosteroids. She is told she has to stay in hospital a few days so that her condition can be monitored. However, Hilda is worried about staying in hospital due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Her GP has previously told her that if she contracts the virus, she is at a greater risk of developing more serious symptoms such as pneumonia or acute respiratory distress. The hospital staff have assured her that they take all the necessary precautions. All coronavirus affected patients are isolated in private rooms, and all healthcare staff practice proper hand hygiene and appropriate use of PPE.
A few days later, Hilda’s asthma is under control and she is discharged from hospital. She is told to take her preventer medicine every day, even when she is feeling well. She is also told to follow routine practices and precautions to lessen her risk of contracting coronavirus.
Select one of Hilda’s anti-asthma medications and discuss how it helps with her condition. In your answer, discuss the pharmacodynamics of the chosen drug and explain how the drug’s actions help in Hilda’s disease .
Albuterol can be used in this condition. This drug os used to treat wheezing and shortness of breath caused by asthma. It is a quick-relief medication. Hence, it will be highly helpful for Hilda to keep this drug always along with her.
Albuterol belongs to a class of drugs known as bronchodilators. It works in the airways by opening breathing passages and relaxing muscles. It activates the beta2-adrenergic receptors in the lungs which begins a cascade of actions that result in bronchodilation. This widens the bronchi airways. Due to this, person's is able to breathe properly.
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