This research study is testing alendronate, an FDA approved medication for osteoporosis. This medication is not yet approved by the FDA for asthma treatment. The purpose of this study is to find out if alendronate affects the loss of bronchoprotection in patients with asthma who are taking beta-2-agonists. Beta-2-agonists are bronchodialating asthma medications such as albuterol and salmeterol. Bronchodilators are inhaled medicines that relax the muscles in the airway. This makes the airway bigger so it is easier to breathe. They also protect against airway narrowing when you are exposed to your asthma triggers.
Nebulisers are machines that turn the liquid form of your short-acting bronchodilator medicines into a fine mist, like an aerosol. You breathe this in with a face mask or a mouthpiece. Nebulisers are no more effective than normal inhalers. However, they are extremely useful in people who are very tired (fatigued) with their breathing, or in people who are very breathless. Nebulisers are used mainly in hospital for severe attacks of asthma when large doses of inhaled medicines are needed. They are used less commonly than in the past, as modern spacer devices are usually just as good as nebulisers for giving large doses of inhaled medicines. You do not need any co-ordination to use a nebuliser - you just breathe in and out, and you will breathe in the medicine.