Which medications should be withdrawn prior to methacholine challenge testing?

Updated: May 14, 2020
  • Author: Kevin McCarthy, RPFT; Chief Editor: Nader Kamangar, MD, FACP, FCCP, FCCM  more...
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The following medications are withdrawn before a methacholine challenge test for the specified period:

  • Short-acting beta agonists (6 h)

  • Long-acting beta agonists (36 h)

  • Oral beta agonists (24 h)

  • Short-acting methylxanthines (12 h)

  • Long-acting methylxanthines (48 h)

  • Anticholinergics (6 h)

  • Cromolyn sodium (24 h)

  • Antihistamines (72 h)

  • The withholding of oral or inhaled steroids before methacholine has not been shown to be necessary but may have an impact. The appropriateness of the methacholine challenge test in a patient who requires oral steroids should be considered (see Contraindications).

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