PMCCPMCCPMCC

Search tips
Search criteria 

Advanced

 
Logo of jrsocmedLink to Publisher's site
 
J R Soc Med. 1982 September; 75(9): 699–704.
PMCID: PMC1438608

Airways responses to oral ethanol in normal subjects and in patients with asthma.

Abstract

The effect of oral ethanol on airflow was studied in 5 normal subjects and 5 patients with asthma. On 4 different study days, each subject was asked to drink 40 ml of either water or 20%, 40% or 60% ethanol, and measurements were made of specific airways conductance (sGaw), blood ethanol levels, pulse rate and blood pressure. In some subjects in both groups there was a significant immediate fall in sGaw after drinking ethanol (below 5% confidence limits). Once absorbed, ethanol had a slight bronchodilator effect in 2 normal subjects and in 3 patients with asthma (5% level). Sixty per cent ethanol, when drunk slowly, showed significant bronchodilatation in 4 out of 5 patients with asthma and in one normal subject (5% level) with no acute fall in sGaw. Pulse rate and blood pressure did not change after water, 20% and 40% ethanol in either group, but immediately after 60% ethanol normal subjects showed a significant rise in pulse rate (P less than 0.01) which was not seen in patients with asthma. The immediate changes in sGaw and pulse rate may be due to stimulation of irritant receptors in the upper airways. Ethanol may act directly on bronchial smooth muscle to produce bronchodilatation and may be useful as a bronchodilator when given intravenously.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (735K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Ayres J, Clark TJ. Alcohol in asthma and the bronchoconstrictor effect of chlorpropamide. Br J Dis Chest. 1982 Jan;76(1):79–87. [PubMed]
  • Breslin AB, Hendrick DJ, Pepys J. Effect of disodium cromoglycate on asthmatic reactions to alcoholic beverages. Clin Allergy. 1973 Mar;3(1):71–82. [PubMed]
  • Curry AS, Walker GW, Simpson GS. Determination of ethanol in blood by gas chromatography. Analyst. 1966 Nov;91(88):742–743. [PubMed]
  • DUBOIS AB, BOTELHO SY, COMROE JH., Jr A new method for measuring airway resistance in man using a body plethysmograph: values in normal subjects and in patients with respiratory disease. J Clin Invest. 1956 Mar;35(3):327–335. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Geppert EF, Boushey HA. An investigation of the mechanism of ethanol-induced bronchoconstriction. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1978 Jul;118(1):135–139. [PubMed]
  • Gong H, Jr, Tashkin DP, Calvarese BM. Alcohol-induced bronchospasm in an asthmatic patient: pharmacologic evaluation of the mechanism. Chest. 1981 Aug;80(2):167–173. [PubMed]
  • HERXHEIMER H, STRESEMANN E. ETHANOL AND LUNG FUNCTION IN BRONCHIAL ASTHMA. Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther. 1963 Aug 2;144:310–314. [PubMed]
  • Hicks R. Ethanol, a possible allergen. Ann Allergy. 1968 Dec;26(12):641–643. [PubMed]
  • Montoya GA, Riker WK, Russell NJ. Stimulus-bound repetitive synaptic firing caused by ethanol in sympathetic ganglion. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1977 Feb;200(2):320–327. [PubMed]
  • Sims CD, Chamberlain GV, Boyd IE, Lewis PJ. A comparison of salbutamol and ethanol in the treatment of preterm labour. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1978 Oct;85(10):761–766. [PubMed]
  • Tomori Z, Widdicombe JG. Muscular, bronchomotor and cardiovascular reflexes elicited by mechanical stimulation of the respiratory tract. J Physiol. 1969 Jan;200(1):25–49. [PubMed]
  • Zlatnik FJ, Fuchs F. A controlled study of ethanol in threatened premature labor. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1972 Mar;112(5):610–612. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press