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A panel of healthy volunteers was screened by bronchial histamine provocation. The response used was the flow rate achieved during a partial forced expiratory manoeuvre at a lung volume 30% of the vital capacity above the residual volume. Those subjects who were relatively sensitive to the bronchoconstrictor effects of inhaled histamine took part in a reproducibility study. Those with consistent responses took part in a further study in which the bronchodilator, and bronchoconstriction-protective, effects of orally administered chlorpheniramine, terfenadine and salbutamol were investigated. The technique was able to demonstrate the efficacy of these drugs in non-patient volunteers. Thus it seems to be a suitable method for the early evaluation, in man, of certain drugs with an anti-asthma therapeutic potential. It also provides useful information on the dose and duration of action of compounds prior to the first efficacy trials in patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Agents and actions. supplements

Publication Date





285 - 289


Beecham Pharmaceuticals Research Division, Great Burgh, Epsom, Surrey, U.K.


Bronchi, Humans, Histamine, Bronchodilator Agents, Bronchial Provocation Tests, Forced Expiratory Flow Rates, Forced Expiratory Volume, Administration, Oral, Drug Evaluation