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Ipratropium Bromide
Brand Name(s):
Atrovent
Drug Class:
Respiratory inhalant
Available OTC?: No
Available Generic?: Yes
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Inhalation aerosol, inhalation solution

Why Prescribed
To control the symptoms of lung diseases, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.

How It Works
It inhibits the cough reflex by blocking the activity of acetylcholine, a chemical that, in the lungs, causes the smooth muscles surrounding the airways to constrict. Therefore, when inhaled, ipratropium bromide causes the airways to widen (bronchodilation).

Range and Frequency
The drug may be used as needed to relieve respiratory symptoms. For chronic obstructive lung disease such as bronchitis or emphysema-- Inhalation aerosol: Adults and children 6 and over: 2 to 4 inhalations 3 or 4 times a day at regularly spaced intervals. Some patients may need 6 to 8 inhalations a day. Inhalation solution, adults and children 12 and over: 250 to 500 micrograms in a nebulizer 3 or 4 times a day, every 6 to 8 hours.

Onset of Effect
5 to 15 minutes.

Duration of Action
3 to 4 hours.

Dietary Advice
Sugarless hard candy or gum can be taken to relieve dry mouth.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and direct light. Open bottles of the solution should be refrigerated, but do not allow the solution to freeze.

Missed Dose
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
It may not be necessary to continue using the medication for as long as originally prescribed; consult your doctor.

Prolonged Use
You should see your doctor regularly if you must take this drug for a prolonged period.

Over 60
Ipratropium is not expected to cause different problems in older patients than in younger persons.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Do not drive or engage in hazardous work until you determine how the medicine affects you.

Alcohol
No special precautions are necessary.

Pregnancy
Ipratropium has not caused birth defects in animals. Human studies have not been done. Before you take ipratropium, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Breast Feeding
It is not known whether ipratropium passes into breast milk; caution is advised. Consult your doctor for specific advice.

Infants and Children
Ipratropium has been tested in children and has not been shown to cause different effects than in adults.

Special Concerns
To test the inhaler, insert the canister into the mouthpiece, take the cap off the mouthpiece, shake the inhaler 3 or 4 times, and spray once into the air. To use the inhaler, hold it upright, with the mouthpiece end down, shake it 3 or 4 times, then breathe out. Spray into open mouth or with mouth closed over inhaler, as recommended by your doctor. Clean the inhaler, mouthpiece, and spacer at least twice a week. To take the inhalation solution, use a power-operated nebulizer with a face mask or mouthpiece. Get instructions for using the nebulizer from your doctor.

Overdose Symptoms
No specific ones have been reported.

What to Do
An overdose of ipratropium is unlikely to be life-threatening. However, if someone takes a much larger dose than prescribed, call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center.

Drug Interactions
Before you use ipratropium, tell your doctor if you are using any other prescription or over-the-counter drug.

Food Interactions
No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions
Consult your doctor if you have glaucoma or difficulty urinating.


Drug/Nutrient Interactions
View Drug Interactions

Date Published: 4/14/2005
Date Reviewed: 4/14/2005


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Serious

Persistent constipation; lower abdominal pain or bloating; wheezing or difficulty breathing; tightness in chest; severe eye pain; skin rash or hives; swelling of face, lips, or eyelids. Call your doctor immediately.
Common

Dry mouth, cough, unpleasant taste.
Less Common

Blurred vision, other changes in vision, burning eyes, difficult urination, dizziness, headache, nausea, pounding heartbeat, nervousness, sweating, trembling.
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