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The Pharmacological Effects of Ipratropium in the Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulomonary Disease

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Ipratropium is a pharmacological treatment modality which is prescribed to patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. This paper will serve to analyze what Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is and the pharmacological actions of ipratropium. It will emphasize upon the pharmacological effects of ipratropium in the management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease? Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a pathological condition which results owing to the combination of three disease states which include chronic bronchitis, chronic bronchiolitis as well as emphysema. Systemic manifestations in patients may also be present which include loss of appetite which results in the reduction in weight and the functional capacity of the muscles may also reduce. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease as the name implies is the blockage in the airways. The changes that occur due to this condition cannot be restored to the initial normal physiological state. In the United Kingdom, the condition is known to affect 1 to 2 percent of the population and more than 30,000 people die due to this condition. It has been marked to be the sixth highest reason of mortality in the United Kingdom. … An inflammatory process ensues in the airways and the cascade of events results in the narrowing of the airways. The condition is mostly seen in people above the age of 40 years. Patients with continuous cough which is accompanied with sputum and loss of breath may be checked to exclude the diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. A chest X-ray along with the Forced Expiratory Volumes and Forced Vital Capacity may be helpful in the diagnosis of the condition. Symptomatic treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is available which results in the betterment of the health status of the patients (Colledge et al 2010. Kumar et al 2005). Pharmacology of Ipratropium Ipratropium is made from isopropyl and the parent compound from which it is derived is atropine. It was discovered in the year 1976 by scientists working in Boehringer Ingelheim which is a pharmaceutical organization located in Germany. It is a quaternary ammonium compound which primarily functions towards the dilatation of the bronchioles. It is an anti-cholinergic agent. Anti-cholinergic agents which were derived naturally from Dhatura were used for the treatment of airway disease since hundreds of years. But the invention of ipratropium served as a breakthrough as this drug did not produce systemic side effects (George 2005. Ravina 2010). Mechanism of Action Ipratropium is a non-selective agent that acts on the muscuranic receptors of acetylcholine and thus prevents the action of acetycholine from taking place. It antagonizes the effect of acetylcholine on these receptors. The action of acetylcholine on these muscuranic receptors of the airways results in the generation of cGMP within the cells