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Atrovent HFA

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

Medically reviewed by on Dec 17, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is Atrovent HFA?

See also: Dulera

Ipratropium is a bronchodilator that relaxes muscles in the airways and increases air flow to the lungs.

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

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

Important Information

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to ipratropium or atropine.

Before using Atrovent HFA, tell your doctor if you have glaucoma or urination problems.

Ipratropium will not work fast enough to treat an bronchospasm attack that has already begun. Use only a fast acting inhalation medicine to treat an bronchospasm attack.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to ipratropium or atropine.

To make sure ipratropium is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • narrow-angle glaucoma; or

  • an enlarged prostate, bladder obstruction, or urination problems.

FDA pregnancy category B. Ipratropium is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether ipratropium passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

How should I use Atrovent HFA?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use Atrovent HFA in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Ipratropium will not work fast enough to treat an bronchospasm attack. Use only a fast acting inhalation medicine to treat an bronchospasm attack.

Prime the inhaler device before the first use by pumping 2 test sprays into the air, away from your face. Prime the inhaler if it has not been used for longer than 3 days. Clean the inhaler once a week. Follow the cleaning directions that came with your medicine.

The dose indicator on the inhaler will turn from green to red when there are 40 doses left in the device. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely. Always use the new device provided with the medication when you get your prescription filled.

Call your doctor right away if it seems like your medications don't work as well, or if your condition gets worse.

While using ipratropium, your lung function may need to be tested often.

Keep the medicine canister away from open flame or high heat, such as in a car on a hot day. The canister may explode if it gets too hot. Do not puncture or burn an empty inhaler canister.

Store the inhaler device with the cover on, at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Throw away the inhaler canister when the dose indicator reaches 0, 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.

What should I avoid while using Atrovent HFA?

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes. If this happens, rinse with water.

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.

Atrovent HFA side effects

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

Stop using ipratropium and call your doctor at once if you have a side effect such as:

  • bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing), especially after starting a new canister of Atrovent HFA;

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

  • pain or burning when you urinate;

  • urinating less than usual or not at all; or

  • worsening of your symptoms.

Other common side effects may include:

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 medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with ipratropium, 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 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 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.