Why is it prescribed?
Ipratropium is used to treat bronchospasm in pulmonary diseases (e.g. bronchitis, emphysema, asthma) and to relieve runny nose in chronic rhinitis and the common cold.
Products that have this ingredient include •Atrovent® HFA •Apo-Ipravent inhalation solution •Ipratropium/Salbutamol nebules •PMS-Ipratropium inhalation solution •Ipravent nasal spray •PMS-Ipratropium nasal spray •Combivent® Respimat® •Teva-Combo Sterinebs •
See other drugs used in the treatment of •allergic rhinitis •asthma •bronchitis •bronchospasm associated with COPD •chronic bronchitis (COPD) •COPD •emphysema (COPD) •hay fever •perennial rhinitis •rhinitis •runny nose •seasonal rhinitis •
Along with its needed effects, ipratropium may cause some unwanted or undesirable effects. Often, ipratropium users who use their medication properly, never experience any unwanted effects. The severity and duration of these effects are dependant on many factors including duration of therapy, dose, route of administration and individual response. Possible unwanted effects include.
- dry mouth or throat
- bad taste
- shortness of breath
- burning eyes
- eye pain
- palpitations (awareness of heart beat)
- difficulty urinating
- tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
Many of these unwanted effects, especially the most common ones, may disappear with continued use. Consult your doctor immediately if you experience increased wheezing or tightness in the chest, swelling of the tongue or lips, difficulty in swallowing, fast or irregular heartbeat, blurred vision or pain in the eyes, difficult or painful urination, or skin rash.
Ipratropium is thought to work by blocking the action of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger involved in the spread of nerve impulses in the body. This "anticholinergic" effect prevents stimulation of certain receptors on bronchial smooth muscle and nasal mucosa. It is a bronchodilator which relieves wheezing and shortness of breath.
Accidently getting ipratropium mist in your eyes can temporarily blur vision, worsen glaucoma and cause eye pain. If this happens, immediately flush your eyes with cool tap water for several minutes.
Drug Interactions: Very little ipratropium is absorbed by the body, so it is unlikely that it would interact with any medications taken orally. However, there are always exceptions, so it is important to tell your doctor and pharmacist about any other prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking.
Use is not recommended in the following situations:
- allergy to ipratropium, atropine or any component of the preparation
- allergy to soya, lecithin or related food products including soybeans and peanuts.
Caution recommended in the following situations:
- glaucoma (narrow angle)
- enlarged prostate
- blockage of the urinary bladder (e.g. difficulty in urination)
Use in pregnancy: Human data suggests low risk. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect that you may be pregnant.
Use while breastfeeding: Considered safe for use in breastfeeding. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before using.