The severity, duration, and reversibility of pentamidine induced bronchial narrowing was studied with and without pretreatment with nebulised terbutaline 10 mg in an open study of 40 patients seropositive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). All subjects received pentamidine 300 mg in 5 ml water via an Acorn System 22 jet nebuliser. The forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) fell in all 20 patients given pentamidine alone, the mean maximum fall being 20.6%. In the 20 patients given pentamidine preceded by nebulised terbutaline the mean maximum fall in FEV1 was 4%; three subjects had a fall in FEV1 of more than 10%.
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