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Atrovent HFA

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

Medically reviewed by on Jun 6, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is ipratropium inhalation?

Ipratropium is a bronchodilator that is used to to prevent bronchospasm in people with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), including bronchitis and emphysema.

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

Important Information

Do not get this medicine in your eyes, especially if you have glaucoma.

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 this medicine if you are allergic to ipratropium or atropine.

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.

Ipratropium inhalation 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 ipratropium inhalation?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

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.

Ipratropium 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?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using ipratropium inhalation?

Do not get this medicine in your eyes, especially if you have glaucoma. Ipratropium inhalation accidentally sprayed into the eyes can cause blurred vision or eye irritation, and may make glaucoma worse.

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.

Ipratropium inhalation side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: 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 inhalation.

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 side effects may include:

  • trouble breathing;

  • cough;

  • headache;

  • dry mouth; or

  • bitter taste after using the medicine.

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 ipratropium inhalation?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect 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 this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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