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Drugs reference index «Atrovent»



Generic name: Ipratropium bromideBrand names: Atrovent

Why is Atrovent prescribed?

Atrovent inhalation aerosol and solution are prescribed for long-term treatment of bronchial spasms (wheezing) associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. When inhaled, Atrovent opens the air passages, allowing more oxygen to reach the lungs.

Atrovent nasal spray relieves runny nose. The 0.03% spray is used for year-round runny nose due to allergies and other causes. The 0.06% spray is prescribed for hay fever and for runny nose due to colds. The spray does not relieve nasal congestion or sneezing.

Most important fact about Atrovent

Atrovent inhalation aerosol and solution are not for initial use in acute attacks of bronchial spasm when fast action is needed.

How should you take Atrovent?

Atrovent inhalation aerosol and solution are not intended for occasional use. To get the most benefit from Atrovent, you must use it consistently throughout your course of treatment, as prescribed by your doctor.

To take the inhalation aerosol, insert the metal canister in the special Atrovent mouthpiece and shake well. Holding the canister upside down, exhale deeply through the mouth, enclose the mouthpiece with your lips, and inhale slowly through the mouth while firmly pressing once on the base of the upended canister. Hold your breath for 10 seconds then exhale. Wait 15 seconds and repeat. Test spray the canister 3 times whenever it has not been used for 24 hours. Be careful to avoid spraying in the eyes.

The nasal spray pump must be primed; your doctor will show you how.

  • If you miss a dose...Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
  • Storage instructions...All forms of Atrovent may be stored at room temperature. Do not freeze.

Keep the inhalation aerosol away from heat and flame; the canister could burst. Discard after 200 sprays. Keep the nasal spray tightly closed.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Atrovent.


  • Side effects may include:Blurred vision, breathlessness, bronchitis, cough, dizziness, dry mouth, headache, irritation from aerosol, nausea, nervousness, rash, stomach and intestinal upset, wheezing, worsening of symptoms


  • Side effects may include:Blurred vision, change in taste, conjunctivitis ("pinkeye"), cough, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth/throat, eye irritation, headache, hoarseness, increased runny nose or nasal inflammation, inflamed nasal ulcers, nasal congestion, nasal dryness, nasal irritation/itching/burning, nasal tumors, nausea, nosebleed, pain, posterior nasal drip, pounding heartbeat, ringing in the ears, sinus inflammation, skin rash, sneezing, sore throat, swollen nose, thirst, upper respiratory infection

Why should Atrovent not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Atrovent or any of its ingredients, or to soybeans, soy lecithin, or peanuts, you should not take Atrovent.

You should also avoid Atrovent if you are allergic to drugs based on atropine. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Special warnings about Atrovent

An immediate allergic reaction (hives, swelling, rash, wheezing) is possible when you first use Atrovent.

Unless you are directed to do so by your doctor, do not take Atrovent if you have the eye condition called narrow-angle glaucoma (high pressure inside the eye), an enlarged prostate, or obstruction in the neck of the bladder.

Keep Atrovent away from your eyes. It can cause blurred vision, visual halos and colors, red eyes, pain, or even narrow-angle glaucoma. If any of these symptoms develop, see your doctor immediately.

If you develop eye pain, blurred vision, very dry nose, or nosebleeds after using the nasal spray, call your doctor.

Do not increase your use of Atrovent without your doctor's approval. If the drug begins to lose its effect, check with your doctor immediately.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Atrovent

When using the aerosol or solution, do not take other inhaled medications unless your doctor approves. Check with your doctor before combining Atrovent with spasm-quelling medications such as atropine sulfate, hyoscyamine sulfate, phenobarbital, and scopolamine hydrobromide.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Atrovent during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. It is not known whether Atrovent appears in breast milk. If Atrovent is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop nursing your baby until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage for Atrovent


The usual starting dose is 2 inhalations, 4 times per day. Additional inhalations may be taken, but the total should not exceed 12 in 24 hours. Not for use in children under 12.


The usual dose is 2 sprays in each nostril 2 or 3 times a day. Not for use in children under 6.


Runny Nose due to Colds

The usual adult dose is 2 sprays in each nostril 3 or 4 times a day. The recommended dose for children age 5 to 11 is 2 sprays in each nostril 3 times a day. Do not use for more than 4 days and do not give it to children under 5.

Runny Nose due to Hay Fever

The usual dose for adults and children 5 and over is 2 sprays in each nostril 4 times a day. Can be used safely for hay fever for up to 3 weeks.


There is no information on specific symptoms of Atrovent overdose. However, any drug taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Atrovent, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Atrovent Inhalation, oral/nebulization Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Atrovent Consumer Overview
  • Atrovent Aerosol Suspension MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Ipratropium Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Atrovent HFA Aerosol Suspension MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Atrovent HFA Prescribing Information (FDA)

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