Exercise-induced asthma (EIA) was provoked by standardized treadmill running for 6 minutes in 15 asthmatic children. The tests were carried out after the administration of a placebo, salbutamol, sodium cromoglycate, choline theophyllinate, and atrophine methonitrate aerosol in randomized fashion on different days. The mean post-exercise percent fall in peak expiratory flow rate was 45-2, 4-1, 19-6, 18-3, and 24-9 respectively. The proportion of children having significant amelioration of their EIA compared with those taking the placebo was 100% for salbutamol, 80% for cromoglycate and theophyllinate, and 60% for atropine. Salbutamol, choline theophyllinate, and atropine were bronchodilators at rest whereas cromoglycate was not, and the ability to suppress EIA was unrelated to bronchodilator effect. Even after bronchodilatation at rest, further broncho-dilatation occurred during the exercise period.
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