Albuterol/ ipratropium aerosol

Generic Name: albuterol/ipratropium (al-BUE-ter-ol/IP-ra-TROE-pee-um)
Brand Name: Combivent

Albuterol/ ipratropium aerosol is used for:

Treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in patients who require more than 1 bronchodilator.

Albuterol/ipratropium aerosol is a beta-adrenergic (sympathomimetic) and anticholinergic bronchodilator combination. It works by relaxing and widening the airways in the lungs, which helps you breathe more easily.

Do NOT use albuterol/ ipratropium aerosol if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in albuterol/ipratropium aerosol, or to atropine or similar medicines
  • you are allergic to soya lecithin or related foods, such as soybean

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using albuterol/ ipratropium aerosol:

Some medical conditions may interact with albuterol/ipratropium aerosol. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances (including peanuts)
  • if you have a history of heart problems (eg, fast or irregular heartbeat), blood vessel problems, high blood pressure, or low blood potassium levels
  • if you have a history of other lung or breathing problems (eg, asthma)
  • if you have a history of thyroid problems, diabetes, seizures, liver or kidney problems, or an adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma)
  • if you have a history of an enlarged prostate, blockage or narrowing of the bladder, or glaucoma
  • if you have had an unusual reaction to other sympathomimetic medicines (eg, pseudoephedrine), such as fast or irregular heartbeat, overexcitement, or severe trouble sleeping
  • if you have taken linezolid, a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine), or tricyclic antidepressant (eg, amitriptyline) within the last 14 days

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with albuterol/ipratropium aerosol. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide) because the risk of low blood potassium levels may be increased
  • Anticholinergics (eg, bromocriptine, methscopolamine), linezolid, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), other sympathomimetic bronchodilators (eg, pirbuterol, salmeterol), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may increase the risk of albuterol/ipratropium aerosol's side effects
  • Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol) because they may decrease albuterol/ipratropium aerosol's effectiveness or worsen your condition
  • Digoxin because its effectiveness may be decreased by albuterol/ipratropium aerosol

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if albuterol/ipratropium aerosol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use albuterol/ ipratropium aerosol:

Use albuterol/ipratropium aerosol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with albuterol/ipratropium aerosol. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • A health care provider will teach you how to use albuterol/ipratropium aerosol at home. Be sure you understand how to use albuterol/ipratropium aerosol. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Insert the metal canister into the clear end of the mouthpiece. Make sure the canister is fully and firmly inserted into the mouthpiece. The canister is only to be used with the mouthpiece provided. Do not use the mouthpiece with other medicines.
  • Test spray albuterol/ipratropium aerosol 3 times before the first use of a new canister and when the canister has not been used for more than 24 hours. Do NOT spray albuterol/ipratropium aerosol in the eyes.
  • Remove the orange dust cap from the mouthpiece before using albuterol/ipratropium aerosol and replace it after you are finished.
  • Shake well for at least 10 seconds before each use.
  • Keep your eyes closed while using albuterol/ipratropium aerosol to avoid getting it in your eyes.
  • Breathe out slowly and completely through your mouth. Place the mouthpiece fully into the mouth in its upright position and close the lips around it, unless your doctor has told you otherwise. As your start to take a slow deep breath through the mouth, press the canister and mouthpiece together at exactly the same time. This will release a dose of albuterol/ipratropium aerosol. Continue breathing in slowly and deeply. After you have breathed all the way in, remove the inhaler from your mouth, hold your breath for 10 seconds, then breathe out slowly through pursed lips or your nose. If more than 1 inhalation is to be used, wait about 2 minutes and repeat the above steps.
  • Replace the protective cap after use.
  • Keep the mouthpiece clean. Wash it with hot water. If soap is used, rinse well with plain water. Dry completely before using.
  • Keep track of the number of sprays used. Throw the canister away after 200 sprays. After 200 sprays, the canister may not deliver the correct amount of medicine with each spray.
  • Contact your health care provider at once if you feel you have taken too much of albuterol/ipratropium aerosol.
  • Continue to use albuterol/ipratropium aerosol even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of albuterol/ipratropium aerosol, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use albuterol/ipratropium aerosol.

Important safety information:

  • Albuterol/ipratropium aerosol is for use in the mouth only. Do not get albuterol/ipratropium aerosol in your eyes. Getting it in your eyes may cause eye pain, redness, irritation, or discomfort; blurred vision or other vision changes; or new or worsening narrow-angle glaucoma. If you get albuterol/ipratropium aerosol in your eyes, rinse immediately with cool tap water. Check with your doctor if you develop any of these effects.
  • Albuterol/ipratropium aerosol may cause dizziness or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you use it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use albuterol/ipratropium aerosol with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Albuterol/ipratropium aerosol should work for up to 4 to 5 hours or longer. Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use more often than prescribed without checking with your doctor. The risk of severe heart problems and sometimes death may be increased with overuse of albuterol/ipratropium aerosol.
  • If your usual dose does not work well, if your symptoms become worse, or if you need to use albuterol/ipratropium aerosol more often than usual, contact your doctor right away.
  • Albuterol/ipratropium aerosol may cause dry mouth or an unpleasant taste in your mouth. To prevent dry mouth, rinse your mouth and gargle after using albuterol/ipratropium aerosol. If you experience dry mouth, use sugarless gum or candy, or melt bits of ice in your mouth. If you have any of these problems, ask your health care provider if a spacing device may help.
  • Albuterol/ipratropium aerosol may sometimes cause severe breathing problems right after you use a dose. When this problem occurs, it is often after the first use of a new canister. If this happens, seek medical care at once.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you use albuterol/ipratropium aerosol before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Check with your doctor before using any other inhaled medicines while you are using albuterol/ipratropium aerosol.
  • Carry an ID card at all times that says you use albuterol/ipratropium aerosol.
  • Lab tests, including lung function tests, blood pressure, or potassium blood levels, may be performed while you use albuterol/ipratropium aerosol. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • The contents of albuterol/ipratropium aerosol are under pressure. Store away from heat and direct sunlight. Do not puncture, break, or burn the canister even if it appears to be empty.
  • Albuterol/ipratropium aerosol should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using albuterol/ipratropium aerosol while you are pregnant. It is not known if albuterol/ipratropium aerosol is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using albuterol/ipratropium aerosol.

Possible side effects of albuterol/ ipratropium aerosol:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Coughing; dizziness; dry mouth; headache; nausea; nervousness; runny or stuffy nose; sore throat; tremor; trouble sleeping; unusual taste in mouth.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing or swallowing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); burning, numbness, or tingling; chest, jaw, or arm pain; decreased coordination; difficult or painful urination; fainting; fast breathing; fast or irregular heartbeat; muscle pain, weakness, or cramping; new or worsening breathing problems (eg, shortness of breath, wheezing); pounding in the chest; severe or persistent headache, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness; severe or unusual drowsiness; severe stomach pain; sluggishness; swelling of the arms or legs; vision changes (eg, blurred vision, visual halos, colored rings); voice changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include chest pain; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; muscle pain, weakness, or cramping; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, headache, light-headedness, nausea, nervousness, or trouble sleeping; severe or unusual drowsiness; tremor.

Proper storage of albuterol/ipratropium aerosol:

Store albuterol/ipratropium aerosol at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat and direct sunlight. Contents are under pressure. Do not puncture. Exposure to heat above 120 degrees F (50 degrees C) may cause bursting. Do not use or store near heat or open flame. Never throw the container into a fire or incinerator. Keep albuterol/ipratropium aerosol out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about albuterol/ipratropium aerosol, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Albuterol/ipratropium aerosol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • If using albuterol/ipratropium aerosol for an extended period of time, obtain refills before your supply runs out.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take albuterol/ipratropium aerosol or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about albuterol/ipratropium aerosol. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to albuterol/ipratropium aerosol. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using albuterol/ipratropium aerosol.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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