Medication Guide App

Albuterol/ ipratropium spray

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

Albuterol/ ipratropium spray is used for:

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

Albuterol/ipratropium spray 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 spray if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in albuterol/ipratropium spray, or to atropine or similar medicines

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if this applies to you.

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

Before using albuterol/ ipratropium spray:

Some medical conditions may interact with albuterol/ipratropium spray. 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
  • 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, glaucoma, or increased pressure in the eye
  • 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 spray. 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
  • Anticholinergic medicines (eg, bromocriptine, scopolamine), linezolid, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), other sympathomimetic bronchodilators (eg, pirbuterol, salmeterol), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may increase the risk of albuterol/ipratropium spray's side effects
  • Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol) because they may decrease albuterol/ipratropium spray's effectiveness or worsen your condition
  • Digoxin because its effectiveness may be decreased by albuterol/ipratropium spray

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if albuterol/ipratropium spray 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 spray:

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

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with albuterol/ipratropium spray. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • A health care provider will teach you how to use albuterol/ipratropium spray at home. Be sure you understand how to use albuterol/ipratropium spray. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Prepare the inhaler as directed by the patient leaflet or your health care provider. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure how to prepare the inhaler for use. The canister is only to be used with the mouthpiece provided. Do not use the mouthpiece with other medicines.
  • Do NOT spray albuterol/ipratropium spray in the eyes.
  • Flip the orange cap until it snaps fully open before priming and before using albuterol/ipratropium spray. Close it after you are finished.
  • You will need to prime albuterol/ipratropium spray before the first use of a new canister. Point the inhaler toward the ground (away from your face) and test spray as directed until the spray is visible. After the spray is visible, repeat with 3 more test sprays before you use the inhaler for the first time.
  • If you do not use the inhaler for more than 3 days, test spray 1 time before using. If you do not use it for more than 21 days, test spray until the spray is visible and repeat with 3 more test sprays.
  • To take a dose, breathe out slowly and completely through your mouth. Place the mouthpiece between your lips and try to rest your tongue flat, unless your doctor has told you otherwise. As you start to take a slow, deep breath, press the dose release button. Continue breathing in slowly and deeply. Hold for 10 seconds or as long as comfortable; 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.
  • Keep the mouthpiece clean. Clean with only a damp cloth or tissue at least 1 time a week.
  • Keep track of the number of sprays used. Throw the canister away after 120 sprays have been used or 3 months after you first use the canister, whichever comes first. After 120 sprays, the canister will not deliver any more medicine.
  • Contact your health care provider at once if you feel you have taken too much of albuterol/ipratropium spray.
  • Continue to use albuterol/ipratropium spray even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of albuterol/ipratropium spray, 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 spray.

Important safety information:

  • Albuterol/ipratropium spray is for use in the mouth only. Do not get albuterol/ipratropium spray 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 spray in your eyes, rinse immediately with cool tap water. Check with your doctor if you develop any of these effects.
  • Albuterol/ipratropium spray may cause dizziness or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you use it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use albuterol/ipratropium spray with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Albuterol/ipratropium spray 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 spray.
  • If your usual dose does not work well, if your symptoms become worse, or if you need to use albuterol/ipratropium spray more often than usual, contact your doctor right away.
  • Albuterol/ipratropium spray may cause dry mouth or an unpleasant taste in your mouth. To prevent dry mouth, rinse your mouth and gargle after using albuterol/ipratropium spray. 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 spray may sometimes cause severe breathing problems right after you use a dose. If this happens, seek medical care at once.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you use albuterol/ipratropium spray 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 spray.
  • Carry an ID card at all times that says you use albuterol/ipratropium spray.
  • Lab tests, including lung function tests, blood pressure, or potassium blood levels, may be performed while you use albuterol/ipratropium spray. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Albuterol/ipratropium spray 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 spray while you are pregnant. It is not known if albuterol/ipratropium spray is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while using albuterol/ipratropium spray.

Possible side effects of albuterol/ ipratropium spray:

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 or throat; 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 spray:

Store albuterol/ipratropium spray at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Do not freeze. Avoid excessive humidity or direct sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep albuterol/ipratropium spray out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about albuterol/ipratropium spray, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Albuterol/ipratropium spray 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 spray 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 spray 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 spray. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to albuterol/ipratropium spray. 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 spray.

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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