Smoking, flu virus bring down efficiency of lung medications

Smoking, flu virus bring down efficiency of lung medications


Exposure to cigarette smoke and viral infection can reduce the efficiency of lung medications, thereby preventing it from working properly, a recent study has revealed.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the collective term for lung ailments, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive airways illness. Presently, the major cause of COPD is smoking and the possibilities of developing COPD increase the longer a person has been smoking, researchers explained.

Patients with COPD face difficulties in breathing, chiefly owing to the airflow becoming obstructed, unrelenting development of phlegm and frequent chest infections, they mentioned. Gradually, the inflammation results in permanent changes in the walls and lungs of the airways coagulate with more mucus being produced, according to researchers.

This inflammation is caused by inflammatory proteins, for instance, interleukin-1 beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, which are responsible for the systematic inflammation or chronic activation of your immune system.

The effectiveness of the usually used COPD symptom-reliever drug salbutamol is reduced on exposure to influenza and smoke of a cigarette, researchers from the RMIT University in Australia said.

An infection is found in an animal model of the respiratory illness. There is a growing need for novel treatments, which can control the limitations of present medications used to treat COPD and connected flare-ups, mentioned Ross Vlahos from RMIT University. “When combined with knowledge gained through clinical research, animal models utilizing cigarette smoke exposure are a valuable tool in the quest to identify new therapies for this life-changing condition,” Vlahos added.

Cigarette smoke is a chief contributor to COPD as it changes immunity and can augment the susceptibility to infection in a patient, which in turn can aggravate symptoms and lead to flare-ups, researchers said.

One of the most commonly known reliever medication used in the treatment of flare-ups of COPD is salbutamol, they mentioned. This drug, which is also used in the treatment of asthma, works by dilating a patient’s airways so as to make it easier for the patient to breathe. The effectiveness of drugs like salbutamol in cigarette smoke-induced lung ailment such as COPD is restricted, according to researchers.

The study analyzed sections of lung exposed to cigarette smoke and a type of the influenza A virus. On the whole, researchers discovered that the lung tissue exposed to cigarette smoke and flu virus was less responsive to salbutamol than tissue which was not.

The research findings were published in the journal called Clinical Science.