The People's Perspective on Medicine

Ipratropium bromide

Overview

Atrovent is an inhaled medication used to open the airways in chronic conditions like asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

It is generally used as preventive or maintenance therapy, rather than in an acute emergency where it is less effective.

Side Effects and Interactions

Often Atrovent does not cause side effects, as it is not easily absorbed into the blood stream.

Possible side effects include dry mouth and irritation of the mouth or throat, cough, nausea, blurred vision, headache, nervousness, rash or rapid heart rate.

Atrovent is frequently used in combination with other asthma drugs, and does not seem to interact dangerously with compounds such as Intal, Beclovent or other inhaled steroids, and theophylline.

Special Precautions

People who are hypersensitive to atropine or related compounds must not take Atrovent, as a serious reaction could result.

Let the prescribing doctor know if you have an enlarged prostate, urinary difficulties (due to obstruction of the neck of the bladder) or narrow-angle glaucoma, as the medication could aggravate these conditions.

Taking the Medicine

Atrovent comes in an aerosol inhaler. The usual dose is two puffs four times a day.

The total dose should not exceed 12 inhalations in 24 hours. The medication should be stored at room temperature away from high humidity.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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