I am currently taking ProAir HFA on an "as needed" basis. My husband uses Atrovent HFA for similar symptoms. Would it be safe for me to use my husband's Atrovent HFA if/when I am temporarily out of my prescription?
No, this is not a good idea.
Atrovent HFA is not the same as ProAir HFA
ProAir HFA (albuterol) is fast acting and gives you immediate relief from bronchospasm. Atrovent HFA (ipratropium bromide) open airways too but its effects are generally mild and may take a lot longer to work.
ProAir is a beta adrenergic medicine. It is a medicine that attaches to beta 2 receptors that are on the muscles that surround the air passages in your lungs (bronchioles) and cause the air passages to relax. It can rapidly open up your lungs making it easier to breathe. It is considered a front line medicine for treating acute asthma symptoms.
Atrovent is an anticholinergic medicine. Our bodies release a natural neurotransmitter (acetylcholine) that attaches to cholinergic receptors in the muscles surrounding the air passages in our lungs. This causes these muscles to spasm, and your air passages to become narrow (bronchoconstriction). Thus, Atrovent particles attach to these cholinergic receptor sites and block the cholinergic response, thus preventing this airway narrowing. To control asthma, usually there are better medicines than this. However, when all else fails, this is a good option to try.
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