What is Atrovent?
Atrovent is an inhaler medicine that widens the airways and increases air flow to the lungs. It contains the active ingredient ipratropium which belongs to a class of medicines known as anti-cholinergics. Ipratropium relaxes the muscles in and around the airways and reduces the production of mucus in the lungs, making it easier for the patient to breathe.
What is it used for?
Atrovent is prescribed in patients with severe asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) with coughing and respiratory distress. Atrovent relieves bronchospasms and reduces the quantity of mucus produced in the lungs. This helps to control or prevent episodes of shortness of breath and chest tightness.
How to use Atrovent
Atrovent is available as inhalation fluid in unit dose vials. It is intended for use in a nebuliser (a machine that converts the liquid medicine into particles that can be inhaled) and can be applied both diluted and undiluted. Please consult the package leaflet for instructions on how to use the Atrovent unit dose vials. The maximum effect on the airways occurs 15 minutes after inhalation and this effect lasts for three to eight hours. Use a new unit dose each time and throw away any remaining liquid. (Atrovent does not contain preservatives that inhibit bacterial growth.) You should avoid accidentally getting Atrovent inhalation fluid into eyes. Rinse thoroughly with water should this occur. Never decide unilaterally to discontinue the use of this medicine. If you do so, the symptoms may recur. Seek medical advice if you want to stop taking Atrovent.
Unless otherwise prescribed by your doctor, the usual starting dose for adults and children aged 12 and above is:
- One unit dose of 500 mcg (2 ml) three to four times a day.
For children aged 6 to 12 and for acute attacks of shortness of breath, the appropriate dose is determined by a doctor. Always follow the prescription exactly - never take more or less than your doctor recommends.
Atrovent may have side effects, although not everyone gets them. The most commonly reported side effects include:
- Dizziness, blurred vision
- Skin irritation due to sensitivity
- Dry mouth
- Airway irritation (cough, throat tickle), flu-like symptoms
- Ocular hypertension (glaucoma).
See package leaflet for more side effects, warnings and contraindications.
Consult your doctor before using Atrovent if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Atrovent may cause dizziness or blurred vision. Stay out of traffic if you experience these side effects.
There are no known interactions between alcohol and Atrovent.