About Your Medicine
Ipratropium (i-pra-TROE-pee-um) is a bronchodilator (medicine that opens up narrowed breathing passages). It is taken by inhalation to help control the symptoms of lung diseases, such as bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. When ipratropium is used every day, it may be used alone or with other bronchodilators to help decrease coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and troubled breathing.
When ipratropium inhalation is used to treat acute attacks of asthma, it is used only in a nebulizer and must be used with other bronchodilators.
If any of the information in this leaflet causes you concern or if you want more information about your medicine and its use, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children. Never share your medicines with others.
Before Using This Medicine
Tell your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist, if you:
- are allergic to any medicine, either prescription or nonprescription (OTC) or other medicines like ipratropium such as atropine, scopolamine, or hyoscyamine
- are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while using this medicine
- are breast-feeding
- are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (OTC) medicine
- have ANY other medical problems
Proper Use of This Medicine
Ipratropium is used to help control your symptoms. However, for treatment of bronchospasm or asthma attacks that have already started, the nebulized solution should be used only in combination with other bronchodilators.
It is very important that you use ipratropium only as directed. Do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of serious side effects.
Keep the spray or solution away from the eyes because this medicine may cause irritation or blurred vision. Closing your eyes or wearing sun glasses while you are inhaling ipratropium may help keep the medicine out of your eyes. Rinsing your eyes with cool water may help if any medicine does get in your eyes.
Ipratropium usually comes with patient directions. Read them carefully before using this medicine.
For patients using ipratropium inhalation metered dose inhaler:
- If you do not understand the directions or you are not sure how to use the inhaler, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to show you how to use it. Also, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to check regularly how you use the inhaler to make sure you are using it properly.
For patients using ipratropium inhalation solution:
- Use this medicine only in a power-operated nebulizer with an adequate flow rate and equipped with a face mask or mouthpiece. Your doctor will tell you which nebulizer to use. Make sure you understand exactly how to use it. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
For patients using ipratropium regularly (for example, every day):
- In order for ipratropium to work properly, it must be inhaled every day in regularly spaced doses as directed by your doctor.
If you use ipratropium inhalation regularly and you miss a dose, use it as soon as possible. Then use any remaining doses for that day at regularly spaced times.
Precautions While Using This Medicine
Check with your doctor at once if your symptoms do not improve within 30 minutes after using a dose of this medicine or if your condition gets worse.
For patients using ipratropium inhalation solution:
- If you are also using cromolyn inhalation solution, do not mix that solution with the ipratropium inhalation solution for use in a nebulizer. To do so will cause the solution to become cloudy and prevent the cromolyn from working as well as it should. However, if your doctor has told you to use cromolyn inhalation solution with ipratropium inhalation solution, use the 2ml single-dose vial of cromolyn inhalation solution to mix with ipratropium inhalation solution.
Possible Side Effects of this Medicine
Side effects that should be reported to your doctor
- Increased wheezing, tightness in chest, or problems breathing.
- Problems swallowing,
- Eye pain (severe)
- Skin rash or hives
- Swelling of tongue or lips
- Ulcers or sores in mouth and on lips
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention
These possible side effects may go away during treatment; but, if they persist or are bothersome, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
- Cough or dryness of mouth or throat
- Headache or dizziness
- Stomach upset or nausea
Less common or rare
- Blurred vision or other changes in vision
- Constipation (continuing)
- Difficult urination
- Metallic or unpleasant taste
- Pounding heartbeat
- Stuffy nose
- Trouble in sleeping
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 03/04/2010
Reproduced, with permission, from the 1989-2010 United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc. Printed in 3/2010 by the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority, Department of Nursing, Madison, WI. Reviewed by the Department of Pharmacy. UWH #4677
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