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NBME 21 Answers
A 64-year-old man with bronchospastic pulmonary ...
Enhanced action of the agonist at β-adrenergic receptors
per UWorld, "cortisol exerts a permissive effect on many hormones to help improve the response to a variety of stressors. For example, cortisol increases vascular and bronchial smooth muscle reactivity to catecholamines". FA also uses the effect of cortisol on catecholamine responsiveness as the lone example for a permissive drug interaction (FA2018 pg 229). The difference here is that we're talking about exogenous glucocorticoid and adrenergic agonist. I guess it was expected for us to assume that the mechanism is analogous for the analogous drugs
I'm sure it's related to the activating effect of Cortisol on phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase, converting NE to Epi. Sounds like a synergistic thing to me. (FA.83)
In short, cortisol upregulates adrenergic receptors and makes them more sensitive