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What is Atrovent Nebules (Ipratropium) prescribed for?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term lung condition in which it makes it difficult for you to breathe. Bronchitis is when your bronchial tubes, which carry the air to your lungs become inflamed and swollen. Because of this you end up with a nagging cough and mucus. Emphysema happens when the linings of the tiny air sacs in your lungs become damaged beyond repair. And over time your lungs damage only gets worse.

Ipratropium, the active ingredient in Atrovent Nebules, is used to control and prevent symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath, caused by an ongoing long term lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD which includes bronchitis and emphysema). This medication works by relaxing the muscles around the airways to allow them to open up so you can breathe easily.

For preventing symptoms of lung disease, this medication must be used on a regular basis to gain its full benefits.

This medication is used with a special machine called a nebulizer, and it changes the solution into a fine mist that you may inhale.  Learn how to prepare and care for the nebulizer.

This product should be clear and colors. Before using check the product visually for any particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.

Inhale this medication into your lungs by using the nebulizer ad directed by your doctor. This medication is usually taken 3 to 4 times a day (6 to 8 hours apart) Rinse your mouth after treatment to prevent dry mouth and throat irritation.


Before using ipratropium, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or to tiotropium; or to atropine or other belladonna-type drugs; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: personal or family history of glaucoma (angle-closure type), difficulty urinating (for example, due to enlarged prostate).

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially problems urinating or constipation.

Side Effects

Dizziness, nausea, stomach upset, dry mouth, or constipation may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Infrequently, this medication may cause severe sudden worsening of breathing problems right after use. If you have sudden worsening of breathing, use your quick-relief medication and get medical help right away.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fast/pounding heartbeat, difficult/painful urination.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: eye pain/swelling/redness, vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night, blurred vision).

A very serious allergic reaction to this product is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.


What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.


What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.


What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.


What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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