Combivent

Pronunciation

Generic Name: albuterol and ipratropium (inhalation) (al BUE ter ol and IP ra TRO pee um)
Brand Names: Combivent, Combivent Respimat, DuoNeb

What is Combivent?

Combivent is a metered-dose inhaler containing a combination of albuterol and ipratropium. Albuterol and ipratropium are bronchodilators that relax muscles in the airways and increase air flow to the lungs

Combivent is used as an inhaled medication to prevent bronchospasm in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are also using other medicines to control their condition.

Combivent may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not use Combivent if you are allergic to albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin), ipratropium (Atrovent), or atropine (Atreza, Lomotil, Vi-Atro, Sal-Tropine).

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

Before you use this medicine, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, a heart rhythm disorder, seizures, diabetes, overactive thyroid, glaucoma, an enlarged prostate, urination problems, liver disease, or kidney disease.

Seek medical attention if you think Combivent is not working as well as usual.

Before using Combivent

You should not use Combivent if you are allergic to albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin), ipratropium (Atrovent), or atropine (Atreza, Lomotil, Vi-Atro, Sal-Tropine).

To make sure Combivent is safe for you, tell your doctor about your other medical conditions, especially:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or heart rhythm disorder;

  • a seizure disorder such as epilepsy;

  • diabetes;

  • overactive thyroid;

  • glaucoma;

  • enlarged prostate, problems with urination; or

  • liver or kidney disease.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Combivent is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

It is not known whether albuterol and ipratropium passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Combivent.

How should I use Combivent?

Use Combivent exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Combivent may increase the risk of asthma-related death. It is critical that you use only the prescribed dose of this medicine and follow all patient instructions for safe use of the medication.

Combivent comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

To use the Combivent inhaler:

  • Shake the canister vigorously for at least 10 seconds before each spray.

  • Uncap the mouthpiece of the inhaler. Breathe out fully. Put the mouthpiece into your mouth and close your lips. Keep your eyes closed to prevent spraying any medicine into your eyes. Breathe in slowly while pushing down on the canister. Hold your breath for 10 seconds, then breathe out slowly.

  • If you use more than one inhalation at a time, wait at least 2 minutes before using the second inhalation.

  • Keep your inhaler clean and dry, and store it with the cap on the mouthpiece. Clean your inhaler once a week by removing the canister and placing the mouthpiece under warm running water for at least 30 seconds. Allow the parts to dry before putting the inhaler back together.

Call your doctor right away if any of your medications do not seem to work as well in preventing attacks.

To be sure Combivent is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your lung function will need to be tested often. You may also need blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.

Use Combivent regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Extreme heat can cause the medicine canister to burst. Do not store it in your car on hot days. Do not throw an empty canister into open flame.

Keep track of the number of sprays you have used and throw away the Combivent inhaler canister after 200 sprays, even if it feels like there is still medicine in it.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of Combivent can be fatal. Overdose symptoms may include chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, extreme thirst, muscle weakness or limp feeling, severe headache, buzzing in your ears, weak pulse, fainting, or slow breathing (breathing may stop).

What should I avoid?

If Combivent gets in your eyes, rinse with water and seek medical attention.

This medication may cause blurred vision and may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.

Combivent side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Combivent: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Combivent and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • wheezing, choking, or other breathing problems (especially after starting a new canister of this medicine);

  • chest pain, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, anxiety, uneven heartbeats);

  • swelling of your ankles or feet;

  • eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;

  • painful or difficult urination; or

  • low potassium (confusion, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling).

Common Combivent side effects may include:

  • mild headache; or

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, or sore throat.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Combivent?

Tell your doctor about all medications you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Combivent, especially:

  • bladder or urinary medicines such as darifenacin (Enablex), tolterodine (Detrol), solifenacin (Vesicare);

  • a diuretic (water pill);

  • heart or blood pressure medication, such as atenolol (Tenormin, Tenoretic), metoprolol (Dutoprol, Lopressor, Toprol), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), and others;

  • medication for Parkinson's disease or depression;

  • medication to treat excess stomach acid, stomach ulcer, motion sickness, or irritable bowel syndrome;

  • other bronchodilators such as formoterol (Foradil), ipratropium (Atrovent), isoproterenol (Isuprel), metaproterenol (Alupent, Metaprel), terbutaline (Brethine, Bricanyl), or tiotropium (Spiriva); or

  • a stimulant, ADHD medication, diet pills, or over-the-counter cold or allergy medicine.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with Combivent, including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Combivent.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Combivent only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.05. Revision Date: 2013-10-01, 10:43:32 AM.

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