Salbutamol is a very commonly used direct-acting β2-agonist. This suggests me that it is sympatholytic. However, it has sympathomimetic pathways, see PubChem for Sympathomimetic.

I am trying to think the group of Salbutamol. Sympathomimetic or sympatholytic.

How can you classify Salbutamol into a group?


1 Answer 1


An agonist works with the receptor: a substance that initiates a physiological response when combined with a receptor; in the case of salbutamol (or albutarol in the US) they activate the beta-2 receptor on the muscles surrounding the airways. They are also known as sympathomimetics, as they imitate β2 adrenergics.

A blocker (or antagonist) is one that that blocks the action of endogenous catecholamines; for that reason, they are also called sympatholytic: antagonistic to or inhibiting the transmission of nerve impulses in the sympathetic nervous system.

It appears you have experienced a simple confusion in terms. Salbutamol/albuterol is definitely a sympathomimetic, used extensively on asthma and COPD.

Pharmacology and Therapeutics of Bronchodilators

  • $\begingroup$ You seem to be right. I read this A short-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonist as beta-adrenergic antagonist which is false. Thank you for excellent answer! $\endgroup$ Nov 26, 2014 at 17:31

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