Ipratropium oral inhalation is prescribed for the treatment of wheezing, dyspnea, coughing, and chest constriction in individuals diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Classified as a bronchodilator, ipratropium functions by inducing relaxation and dilation of the pulmonary airways, thereby facilitating improved respiratory function.
Uses and Dosage
Ipratropium is available in two formulations for oral inhalation: a nebulizer solution and an aerosol inhaler. The nebulizer solution is administered orally using a machine called a nebulizer, which converts the medication into a mist for inhalation. Typically, the nebulizer solution is used three or four times daily at intervals of 6 to 8 hours. The aerosol inhaler is also used orally and is usually taken four times a day. Adhere strictly to the prescribed dosage of ipratropium, avoiding both excessive and insufficient doses.
If you experience symptoms such as wheezing, difficulty breathing, or chest tightness, consult your doctor regarding appropriate measures. Your doctor may recommend an alternative inhaler that acts more rapidly than ipratropium to alleviate these symptoms. Your doctor may also advise using additional puffs of ipratropium in conjunction with other medications for symptom management. Only use extra puffs of ipratropium as instructed by your doctor, and refrain from exceeding a total of 12 puffs within a 24-hour period.
Contact your doctor if your symptoms worsen or if ipratropium inhalation no longer provides effective symptom control. If you have been instructed to use additional doses of ipratropium and find yourself requiring more than the usual amount, consult your doctor.
When using the inhaler, the medication will be contained in canisters. Each canister of ipratropium aerosol is designed to deliver 200 inhalations. Keep track of the number of inhalations used. By dividing the total number of inhalations in your canister by the daily usage, you can determine how many days your inhaler will last. Dispose of the canister after completing the labeled number of inhalations, even if there is some liquid remaining and it continues to release a spray when pressed.
Take precautions to avoid contact of ipratropium with your eyes. If using the inhaler, keep your eyes closed during medication administration. If using the nebulizer solution, employ a mouthpiece rather than a face mask. In the event that a face mask must be used, consult your doctor for measures to prevent medication leakage. Contact your doctor if ipratropium comes into contact with your eyes or if you experience symptoms such as narrow-angle glaucoma (a serious eye condition that may result in vision loss). Existing narrow-angle glaucoma may worsen, accompanied by symptoms such as dilated pupils, eye pain or redness, blurred vision, and visual disturbances like halos around lights.
The inhaler provided with ipratropium aerosol is exclusively intended for use with ipratropium canisters. Never use it to inhale any other medication, and avoid using alternative inhalers to administer ipratropium.
Avoid using your ipratropium inhaler near an open flame or heat source, as exposure to high temperatures could cause the inhaler to explode.
Before using ipratropium inhalation for the first time, carefully review the accompanying written instructions. Seek guidance from your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist to demonstrate the proper usage of the inhaler or nebulizer. Practice using the inhaler or nebulizer under their supervision.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- dry mouth
- difficulty urinating
- pain when urinating
- frequent need to urinate
- back pain
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- fast or pounding heartbeat
- chest pain
Prior to initiating ipratropium usage, inform your doctor or pharmacist about any known allergies to ipratropium, tiotropium, atropine, or other medications of the belladonna family, as well as any other allergies you may have. This product may contain inactive ingredients that can potentially trigger allergic reactions or other complications.
Before using this medication, disclose your medical history to your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have a personal or family history of angle-closure glaucoma or difficulties with urination (e.g., due to an enlarged prostate).
This drug may induce dizziness, blurred vision, or changes in vision. Consumption of alcohol or marijuana can intensify these effects. Refrain from driving, operating machinery, or engaging in tasks that require alertness or clear vision until you can safely do so.
Older adults may be more susceptible to the side effects of this medication, particularly issues with urination or constipation.
During pregnancy, the use of this medication should only be considered if absolutely necessary. Discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is currently unknown whether this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding to evaluate the potential risks.
Form and Strength
Atrovent Inhaler is available in the following forms and strengths:
Atrovent Inhaler inhaler:
How do I know if Atrovent is working for me?
You’ll know if Atrovent is working for you based on how often you have difficulty breathing and need your rescue inhaler. The purpose of Atrovent is to keep your airways open so you’re less likely to have shortness of breath.
How long does it take for Atrovent to start working?
Atrovent is an anticholinergic. It makes it easier to breathe by causing your large airways to open. Atrovent will begin working 15-30 minutes after you use your medicine.