How Do Nonselective Phosphodiesterase Enzyme Inhibitors Work?

Reviewed on 10/22/2021

How do nonselective phosphodiesterase enzyme inhibitors work?

Nonselective phosphodiesterase enzyme (PDE) inhibitors are medications used to treat respiratory problems such as bronchospasm and neonatal apnea, and congestive heart failure. Nonselective PDE inhibitors work by inhibiting the activity of a group of enzymes known as phosphodiesterase enzymes.

Phosphodiesterase enzymes are a family of enzymes that regulate the intracellular levels of signaling molecules known as cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), by breaking them down. Signaling molecules cAMP and cGMP are responsible for activating diverse cellular functions.

Nonselective phosphodiesterase inhibitors prevent PDE from breaking down cAMP, increasing its intracellular concentration. An increase in the levels of cAMP results in bronchial smooth muscle relaxation and bronchodilation, dilation of pulmonary blood vessels, strengthened heart contractions, and improved cardiac output.

Caffeine, one of the nonselective phosphodiesterase enzyme inhibitors, stimulates the respiratory center in the brain and improves the respiratory drive and oxygen inflow.

How are nonselective phosphodiesterase enzyme inhibitors used?

Nonselective phosphodiesterase enzyme inhibitors may be administered as:

Nonselective phosphodiesterase enzyme inhibitors are used for the treatment of the following conditions:




COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the same as adult-onset asthma. See Answer

What are side effects of nonselective phosphodiesterase enzyme inhibitors?

Side effects of nonselective phosphodiesterase enzyme inhibitors may include the following:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of nonselective phosphodiesterase enzyme inhibitor drugs?

Generic and brand names of nonselective phosphodiesterase enzyme inhibitor drugs include:


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