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Combivent Respimat

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

Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD Last updated on Mar 14, 2019.

What is Combivent Respimat?

Combivent Respimat 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 Respimat is used to prevent bronchospasm (tightening and narrowing of the airways) in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are also using other medicines to control their condition.

Combivent Respimat 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).

Before you use this medicine, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, coronary artery disease, a heart rhythm disorder, high blood pressure, seizures, diabetes, thyroid disease, 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. Overuse of albuterol and ipratropium may increase the risk of death. It is critical that you use only the prescribed dose of this medicine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Combivent if you are allergic to albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin), ipratropium (Atrovent), or atropine.

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

  • heart disease, coronary artery disease, or heart rhythm disorder;

  • high blood pressure;

  • a seizure disorder such as epilepsy;

  • diabetes;

  • thyroid disease;

  • glaucoma;

  • liver or kidney disease; or

  • enlarged prostate, problems with urination.

It is not known whether Combivent will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Albuterol and ipratropium inhalation can pass into breast milk. It is unknown whether Combivent Respimat will harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding before using this medicine.

Combivent Respimat is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I use Combivent Respimat?

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

Combivent Respimat is usually used 4 times per day. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Overuse of this medicine may increase the risk of death. It is critical that you use only the prescribed dose of this medicine.

Combivent Respimat comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use, and directions for priming the inhaler device. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. One Combivent Respimat carton contains one cartridge and one inhaler.

To use the Combivent Respimat inhaler:

  • You do not need to shake the inhaler before use.

  • 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 pressing the dose-release button on the inhaler. Hold your breath for 10 seconds, then breathe out slowly.

  • Close the cap until you use your inhaler again.

  • Carefully follow all directions for cleaning your specific inhaler device once per week.

Keep track of the number of sprays you have used. Throw away the inhaler canister after 3 months or 120 sprays, whichever comes first.

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

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

While using Combivent Respimat, you may need medical tests.

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

Combivent Respimat dosing information

Combivent Respimat inhalation spray: 1 inhalation 4 times a day
Patients may take additional inhalations as required; however, the total number of inhalations should not exceed 6 in 24 hours.

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.

Do not use more than 6 inhalations in a 24-hour period.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of albuterol and ipratropium can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, tremors, dry mouth, extreme thirst, muscle weakness or limp feeling, severe headache, pounding in your neck or ears, or feeling like you might pass out.

What should I avoid while using Combivent Respimat?

Avoid getting Combivent Respimat in your eyes. If this medication 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 signs of an allergic reaction to Combivent Respimat: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

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

  • chest pain;

  • fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest;

  • tremors, nervousness;

  • swelling of your ankles or feet;

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

  • painful or difficult urination; or

  • leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling.

Common Combivent Respimat side effects may include:

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

  • headache; or

  • trouble breathing;

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 Combivent Respimat?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • atropine and other “anticholinergic” drugs;

  • nausea medication (promethazine, scopolamine, others);

  • medicines for bladder urgency;

  • diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Advil PM, Unisom, etc.);

  • diuretics or "water pills";

  • heart or blood pressure medicine;

  • beta-blockers (including labetalol, metoprolol, propranolol, others);

  • antidepressant medications, especially monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAOs (including isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, or methylene blue injection), tricyclic antidepressants (such as amitriptyline, desipramine, doxepin, imipramine, or nortriptyline) as well as paroxetine, nortriptyline and others.;

  • certain medications for bipolar or schizophrenia such as chlorpromazine, olanzapine, and others;

  • other inhaled medications.

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

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Combivent Respimat 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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