Respiratory Pharmacology Cold/Flu remedies

  1. Upper respiratory tract infections (URTI)
    >Sign/symptoms - Runny notse, nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, red and dry throat

    >Involves vasodilation (dilation of blood vessel) within the muscosa and submuscosa layers of respiratory tract

    >common cause by virus, anitbiotic not necessary

    >Remedies contain a mixture of ingredient
  2. What constitutes a cough
    >Reflex reaction in response to irritation to the bronchial muscosa.

    >beneficial mechanism that serves o clear mucous & any foreign bodies

    may be productive (mucous producing) common disease such as COPD-coughing should not be suppressed.

    • non-productive (dry, no mucous)
    • >Acute less than 3 weeks
    • >Subacute 3-8weeks
    • >Chronic more than 8weeks ie. Whooping cough.

    >Problem associated with coughing include insomnia, Vomiting, exhaustion, # to ribs, cold
  3. Zinc for colds
    >Prevents binding by viruses to cells of the nasal cavity - growth is prevented and infection is prevented.

    >Evident in rhinovirus (type of virus) but not other cold viruses

    >suggestion that zinc can boost immune system & suppress cold related inflammatory processes

    >More research required.
  4. Effectiveness of substances available OTC 
    >Vit C stimulate immune system - not effective once cold/flu has established.

    >Caffeine effects central nervous system (CNS) and may reduce apathy (makes you feel good)

    • >Menthol/Camphor produce a vasodilated affect to skin & gives a feeling of warmth and relief  from aches/pain associated with cold/flu
    • >achived by irritating the sensory nerves under the skin sending repeated messsages to brain.
  5. What's the difference?
    >Anti tussives; suppress cough reflex

    >Decongestants decrease the overproduction of muscous/secretions

    >antihistamines block the action of histamines, decrease mucous production

    >Expectorants increase mucous secretions.
  6. Anti-tussives
     Cough supressants,  function is to reduce the frequency & severity of a non productive cough.

    • >shoud never be used to restrict a productive cough.
    • >2 groups: Opioid/narcotic and non opioid
    • >Opioid - codeine
    • >Non opioid - dextromethorphan

    BOTH meds are very effective against chronic non productive cough.
  7. Expectorants
    >Used for unproductive cough

    >Work on the nervous system stimulating lungs to increase mucous production

    > To reduce dyness and irritated area of the respiratory tract

    • > cough goes from unproductive to productive
    • >plant derivative: Liquorice &squill
  8. Codeine - Opioid
    Most common ingredient in anti tussive is an opioid. 

    >Common anti tussives are pholcodeine & Gees linctus

    • >pholcodeine has little analgesic effect
    • >Gees linctus combines the anti tussive  effect  with an analgesic

    >both contain little amount of codeine due to opioid effect.

    >main effect is they may depress the medulla in brain which suppress respiratory centres and may result in respiratory arrest.
  9. How does codeine work?
    >Activates specific opioid receptors in CNS which suppress the cough centre.

    >side effects include constipation, respiratory depression

    >Codeine absorbed quickly and metabolised in the liver and excreted in urine.

    >not recommended in pregnacy/breastfeeding, impairment to CNS, and brain injury.
  10. Dextromethorphan (DXM)
    >active ingredient found in 140 cough remedies

    >Most effective non opioid mixture used to suppress cough

    >activates specific receptors in CNS that suppress cough

    >Doesn't cause respiratory failure

    • >Overdose may cause impaired motor function, numbness
    • nausea/vomiting, tachycardia, increased BP.
  11. What is Rhinitis?
    Is an allergic reaction that occurs via the infammatory response in the upper&lower airways and the eyes causing basodilation  & increased capillary permability.

    Caused by airborne allergens that activate mast cells which leads to release of histamines.

    • Seasonal (hayfever) - fungi & pollen
    • Non seasonal (perennial) - dust mites & pet fur.
  12. Rhinitis symptoms
    >runny nose (rhinorrhea)


    >Itching ( pruritus)

    >Nasal congestion
  13. Decongestants
    >short term decongestant used to relieve symptoms such as nasal  congestion & runny nose

    >work by activate receptors in blood vessels causing vasoconstriction reducing odema within mucous membranes.

    >allows the passages to drain secretions, making breathing easier

    >short term use only. if used longer thatn 3-5 days can cause nasal congestion.

    > side effects include pupil dilation, consipation, hypertension.
  14. Glucocorticoids 
    • >Used for rhinitis
    • >work by suppressing cells responsible for inflammation.
    • >very effective against nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing
    • >1st line of treatment
    • >side effects include dryness of mucosa, burning or itching sensation
    • >systemic effects are rare.
    • >administed via metered dose spray
    • >symptoms are relieved: does should be decreased.
  15. Antihistamines - Oral & nasal
    • >used frequently for allergic condition
    • >only effective against sneezing, runny nose, nasal drip
    • > not effective against nasal congestion becos histamine is only one of many of the mediators responsible for allergic rhinitis.
    • >not effective against infectious symptoms associated with cold
    • >side effects include drowsiness; impaired coordination and lack of concentration
Card Set
Respiratory Pharmacology Cold/Flu remedies
Oxygenation one