REVIEW The pharmacologic effects of beta2-adrenoceptor agonist drugs, including formoterol, are at least in part attributable to stimulation of intracellular adenyl cyclase, the enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to cyclic-3'', 5''-adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP). Increased cyclic AMP levels cause relaxation of bronchial smooth muscle and inhibits the release of pro-inflammatory mast-cell mediators such as histamine and leukotrienes. Formoterol also inhibits histamine-induced plasma albumin extravasation in anesthetized guinea pigs and inhibits allergen-induced eosinophil influx in dogs with airway hyper-responsiveness. The relevance of these in vitro and animal findings to humans is unknown.
Bartow RA, Brogden RN: Formoterol. An update of its pharmacological properties and therapeutic efficacy in the management of asthma. Drugs. 1998 Feb;55(2):303-22.
Cheer SM, Scott LJ: Formoterol: a review of its use in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Am J Respir Med. 2002;1(4):285-300.
Steiropoulos P, Tzouvelekis A, Bouros D: Formoterol in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2008;3(2):205-15.
Faulds D, Hollingshead LM, Goa KL: Formoterol. A review of its pharmacological properties and therapeutic potential in reversible obstructive airways disease. Drugs. 1991 Jul;42(1):115-37.