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Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2011 Oct;203(2):311-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.2011.02302.x. Epub 2011 May 27.

Effects of salbutamol on the contractile properties of human skeletal muscle before and after fatigue.

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Institute of Sport Sciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.



The study examined the effects of an oral acute administration of the β2-agonist salbutamol (Sal) (6 mg) vs. placebo on muscle strength and fatigability in 12 non-asthmatic recreational male athletes in a randomized double-blind protocol.


Contractile properties of the right quadriceps muscle were measured during electrical stimulations, i.e. twitch, 1-s pulse trains at 20 (P(20) ) and 80 Hz (P(80) ) and during maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) before (PRE) and after (POST) a fatigue-producing protocol set by an electromyostimulation (30 contractions, frequency: 75 Hz, on-off ratio: 6.25-20s). In addition, the level of muscle voluntary activation was measured.


In PRE and POST conditions, the peak torque (PT) of twitch, P(80) and MVIC were not modified by the treatment. The PT in POST P(20) was slightly, although not significantly, less affected by fatigue in Sal compared with placebo condition. Moreover, twitch half-relaxation time at PRE was smaller under Sal than under placebo (P < 0.05). No significant changes in the degree of voluntary activation were observed with Sal treatment in PRE or POST condition.


  Although these findings did not exclude completely an effect of Sal on peripheral factors of human skeletal muscle, oral acute administration of the β2-agonist Sal seems to be without any relevant ergogenic effect on muscle contractility and fatigability in non-asthmatic recreational male athletes.

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