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Ipratropium Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of ipratropium include: upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, bronchitis, exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and sinusitis. Other side effects include: cough, dyspepsia, and flu-like symptoms. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to ipratropium: inhalation aerosol liquid, inhalation aerosol powder, inhalation solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by ipratropium. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking ipratropium:

More common:
  • Bladder pain
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • cough producing mucus
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • difficulty with breathing
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • lower back or side pain
  • shortness of breath
  • tightness in the chest
  • wheezing
Less common:
  • Body aches or pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • ear congestion
  • fever
  • headache
  • loss of voice
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Constipation (continuing) or lower abdominal pain or bloating
  • fainting
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • severe eye pain
  • skin rash or hives
  • swelling of the face, lips, or eyelids
Incidence not known:
  • Blindness
  • blurred vision
  • confusion
  • decrease in the frequency of urination
  • decrease in the urine volume
  • decreased vision
  • difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • hives or welts
  • itching
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • nausea or vomiting
  • noisy breathing
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • redness of the skin
  • redness of the white part of the eyes or inside of the eyelids
  • sweating
  • tearing

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with ipratropium may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Back pain
  • dryness of the mouth
  • unpleasant taste
Less common or rare:
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • burning eyes
  • diarrhea
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle aches and pains
  • nervousness
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • shivering
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • trembling
  • trouble sleeping

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to ipratropium: compounding powder, inhalation aerosol, inhalation solution


Most common adverse reactions were bronchitis, COPD exacerbation, dyspnea, headache[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache, dizziness[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Skin rash, pruritus, angioedema (including that of tongue, lips and face), urticarial (including giant urticaria), laryngospasm and anaphylactic reactions[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Precipitation or worsening of narrow-angle glaucoma, glaucoma, halo vision, conjunctival hyperemia, corneal edema, acute eye pain, blurred vision
Postmarketing reports: Mydriasis, increased intraocular pressure[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection
Postmarketing reports: Urinary retention[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Bronchitis, COPD exacerbation, sinusitis
Common (1% to 10%): Dyspnea, sinusitis, cough, rhinitis, upper respiratory infection
Postmarketing reports: Cough, bronchospasm (including paradoxical bronchospasm)[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypotension, palpitations, tachycardia
Postmarketing reports: Supraventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, increased heart rate[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Dyspepsia, dry mouth, nausea
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Taste perversion (bitter taste)
Frequency not reported: Dry throat, constipation, throat irritation, stomatitis, mouth edema
Postmarketing reports: Gastrointestinal distress (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting), pharyngeal edema, gastrointestinal motility disorders[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Back pain


Common (1% to 10%): Influenza-like symptoms
Postmarketing reports: Accommodation disorder


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3. "Product Information. Atrovent (ipratropium)." Boehringer-Ingelheim, Ridgefield, CT.

4. Anderson WM "Hemodynamic and non-bronchial effects of ipratropium bromide." Am J Med 81 (1986): 45-53

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9. Cabana MD, Johnson H, Lee CKK, Helfaer M "Transient anisocoria secondary to nebulized ipratropium bromide." Clin Pediat 37 (1998): 445-7

10. Kizer KM, Bess DT, Bedford NK "Blurred vision from ipratropium bromide." Am J Health Syst Pharm 56 (1999): 914

11. Verheijen-Breemhaar L, Bogaard JM, Hilvering C "Comparison of the bronchodilatory action and side-effects of ipratropium bromide and thiazinamium methyl sulphate: a long-term, double-blind, crossover trial in patients with chronic bronchitis." Pharmatherapeutica 3 (1982): 180-7

12. Pras E, Stienlauf S, Pinkhas J, Sidi Y "Urinary retention associated with ipratropium bromide." DICP 25 (1991): 939-40

13. Lozewicz S "Bladder outflow obstruction induced by ipratropium bromide." Postgrad Med J 65 (1989): 260-1

14. O'Driscoll BR "Supraventricular tachycardia caused by nebulised ipratropium bromide." Thorax 44 (1989): 312

Not all side effects for ipratropium may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.