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Table of Contents > Drugs >  Ipratropium
Ipratropium
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
Reasons not to take this medicine
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(i pra TROE pee um)

Brand Names
Atrovent®

Therapeutic Categories
Anticholinergic Agent

Reasons not to take this medicine

  • If you have an allergy to ipratropium or any other part of the medicine.


What is this medicine used for?

  • Inhaled:
    • This medicine is used to relax the airways to improve breathing and decrease wheezing. It is the first medicine used in treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and is used in asthma as an add on medicine (usually in addition to 3 or 4 other ones).
  • Nasal:
    • This medicine is used to treat the runny nose seen in allergies and the common cold in patients 5 years old and older.


How does it work?

  • Ipratropium works at sites in the breathing tubes to relax the muscle. This allows oxygen delivery to improve.
  • It also dries up the runny nose.


How is it best taken?

  • For inhaling (puffing) only by an inhaler or as a liquid through a special machine (nebulizer). Shake inhaler well before using.
  • Spacer can be used with inhaler for easier delivery (to get more medicine into the lungs).
  • Check inhaler use with healthcare provider at each visit. Using the inhaler the right way is very important.
  • If you are using more than one type of inhaler. Ask healthcare provider which one to use first.
  • Spray nasal spray up the nose only. Do not spray in eyes.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • Do not take a double dose or extra doses.
  • This medicine is not for the treatment of acute episodes of shortness of breath.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Wear disease medical alert identification if using for lung disease.
  • Do not use aerosol spray if allergic to peanuts or soybeans. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Cough.
  • Nausea. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard candy, or chewing gum may help.
  • Dry mouth. Rinse out mouth with water after each use.
  • Headache. Mild pain medicine may help.


What should I monitor?

  • Watch for changes in breathing. Is breathing better, worse, or the same?
  • Follow up with healthcare provider.


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Eye pain or blurred vision.
  • Too much nasal dryness or bleeding.
  • Any rash.
  • No improvement in condition or feeling worse.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store at room temperature. Protect from light and moisture.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


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