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Atrovent HFA

Generic Name: ipratropium inhalation (IP ra TRO pee um)
Brand Names: Atrovent HFA, Atrovent

Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD Last updated on Apr 30, 2019.

What is Atrovent HFA?

Atrovent (ipratropium) is a bronchodilator that relaxes muscles in the airways and increases air flow to the lungs.

Atrovent is used to to prevent bronchospasm, or narrowing airways in the lungs, in people with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

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

Important Information

Do not get Atrovent HFA in your eyes, especially if you have glaucoma.

Atrovent HFA will not work fast enough to treat an bronchospasm attack that has already begun. It is used for prevention of an attack only. Use only a fast acting inhalation medicine to treat an bronchospasm attack.

Seek medical attention if your breathing problems get worse quickly, or if you think your medications are not working as well.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Atrovent HFA if you are allergic to ipratropium or atropine.

To make sure Atrovent HFA is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • glaucoma;

  • an enlarged prostate; or

  • bladder obstruction or other urination problems.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Atrovent HFA should not be used by anyone younger than 12 years old. Atrovent HFA is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I use Atrovent HFA?

Use Atrovent HFA exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Do not use more than 12 Atrovent HFA inhalations in a 24-hour period.

If you are using this medicine with a nebulizer, space your doses 6 to 8 hours apart.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Before your first use of Atrovent HFA, prime the inhaler with 2 test sprays into the air, away from your face. Prime again whenever the inhaler has not been used in longer than 3 days. You do not need to shake this medicine before each use.

Atrovent HFA is not a rescue medicine for bronchospasm attacks. Use only fast-acting inhalation medicine for an attack. Seek medical attention if your breathing problems get worse quickly, or if you think your medications are not working as well.

Store at room temperature. Keep the cover on your inhaler when not in use. Keep away from open flame or high heat. The canister may explode if it gets too hot. Do not puncture or burn an empty inhaler canister.

Throw away the inhaler canister when the dose indicator reaches 0, even if it feels like there is still medicine inside.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

Do not use more than 12 inhalations in a 24-hour period.

What happens if I overdose?

Overdose is unlikely with Atrovent. If you do overdose, seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using Atrovent HFA?

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes. If this happens, rinse with water. Atrovent in the eye can lead to worsening of existing glaucoma, eye pain, blurred vision, and eye redness. If these symptoms develop, call your doctor immediately.

This medicine may cause blurred vision and may impair your reactions. Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you.

Atrovent HFA side effects

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

You may need to use a different bronchodilator medication if you have an allergic reaction to ipratropium.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • wheezing, choking, or other breathing problems after using this medicine;

  • little or no urination;

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights; or

  • worsened breathing problems.

Common Atrovent HFA side effects may include:

  • dry mouth;

  • bitter taste;

  • headache, dizziness;

  • stuffy nose, sinus pain;

  • cough, hoarseness;

  • nausea, upset stomach, constipation

  • back pain; or

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms

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.

What other drugs will affect Atrovent HFA?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with ipratropium, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Atrovent HFA only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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