What does ipratropium aerosol inhaler do?
IPRATROPIUM (Atrovent(R)) is a bronchodilator, a medicine that helps people with lung problems to breathe more easily. It works by opening up the air passages in your lungs. It is not to be used alone for treating an acute attack of breathing problems, as it takes some time to work.
What should my health care professional know before I use ipratropium?
They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
• bladder problems or difficulty passing urine
• heart disease or irregular heartbeat
• prostate trouble
• an unusual or allergic reaction to ipratropium, atropine, bromides, soya protein, peanut oil, soybeans or peanuts, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
• pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Ipratropium is only for inhalation by mouth through an inhaler device or for inhalation by a machine called a nebulizer, which sprays fine mists of the medicine that you breathe in through a mask. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use at regular intervals. Do not use more often than prescribed by your doctor or health care professional. Do not stop using except on your prescriber's advice.
If you are using the inhaler, shake the inhaler well before using it. It is recommended that you "test-spray" the inhaler three times into the air before using your inhaler for the first time. Breathe out, blow as much air as you can out of your lungs. Hold the inhaler with the mouthpiece end down. Tilt your head back slightly. Breathe out fully, emptying as much air as possible from your lungs. Keep the canister upright. Keep the inhaler about 1 inch from your open mouth (or place the mouthpiece loosely between your open lips). Press down on the inhaler (one puff) while breathing in deeply and slowly. If you can, hold your breath to the count of 10 (or as long as you can) and then breathe out (exhale). Wait at least 1 to 2 minutes between puffs. Do not use more often than directed by your prescriber or health care professional. Your inhaler will come with some instructions about using the inhaler. Read the instructions carefully; ask your prescriber or pharmacist about instructions you do not understand.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What other medicines can interact with ipratropium?
• atropine, hyoscyamine, or related medications
• cromolyn sodium (For those who use ipratropium in a nebulizer: Do not mix cromolyn and ipratropium in the same nebulizer because the solution will get cloudy and not work properly).
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from using ipratropium?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
• difficulty breathing, wheezing, increased shortness of breath
• chest pain or fast heartbeat
• fever or other signs of infection
• headache (severe)
• skin rash or hives
• swelling of the lips, tongue or face
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• blurred vision
• difficulty passing urine
• dry mouth
• mouth ulcers
• stuffy nose
• unusual taste or metallic taste in your mouth