Provocholine Testing

The purpose of the Provocholine Challenge is to determine the amount of airway reactivity of a patient - in effect, to discover whether a patient has asthma. The Provocholine test reveals asthma in individuals that don't respond to conventional methods of pulmonary function testing.

How it Works

You will be asked to inhale a mist that contains different concentrations of a drug called Provocholine, which is produced in a device called a nebulizer and inhaled  through a mouthpiece. The test begins, and after each period of inhalation, you will be asked to exhale forcefully into a spirometer, which measures lung capacity and airflow. All testing is performed by licensed Respiratory Care Practitioners (therapists).

The test does not cause an asthma attack, but the inhalation may give you mild shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness or soreness, wheezing, or headache.  Many patients have no symptoms at all. The symptoms that may occur are mild, only lasting a few minutes, and disappearing after the inhalation of the bronchodilator medication. Whether or not you appear to have symptoms following the Provocholine challenge, you will receive a "breathing treatment" with the bronchodilator to reverse any of the above symptoms before you leave the office. There is no discomfort or risks involved in the Provocholine test beyond those stated above.

How Do I Prepare?

If you suspect you may be pregnant or of child bearing age, a pregnancy test must be done within 48 hours prior to the date of the Provocholine challenge. Pregnant and nursing mothers should not take the inhalation test.

You should not use rescue inhalers (such as albuterol) for at least 8 hours prior to testing. All other breathing medications (i.e. Singular, Predinsone) should not be used for at least 24 hours prior. Avoid any coffee, tea, cola drinks or chocolate on the day of the test.

Our staff will call Bunker Hill Pharmacy to order the Provocholine, and you may pick it up the day of the test.  There will most likely be an out of pocket expense of approximately $65, which may or may not be covered by your insurance. Please contact your insurance company to determine. Plan to pick up the medication 30 minutes prior to your test time.  The medication will not be mixed until your arrive at the pharmacy.  Please give our office 24 hours notice if you can't keep your appointment.

256 Bunker Hill Avenue
Waterbury, CT

9 AM to 8 PM