How the Drug Works:
Ipratropium blocks the action of the chemical transmitter acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine causes the muscles around the bronchial tubes to spasm and constrict, which makes it harder to breathe. By blocking acetylcholine, ipratropium allows these muscles to relax, widening the bronchial tubes (bronchodilation) and allowing more air into the lungs.
Albuterol dilates (opens) the bronchial tubes of the lungs by relaxing the muscles around the bronchial tubes. This allows for easier air flow into and out of the lungs. It also assists in removing (expectorating) mucus and other debris causing congestion in the lungs.
To treat bronchospasm in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (CaPO) who are on a regular inhalant bronchodilator but continue to have symptoms of bronchial tube spasm.
Pregnancy: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Use only if clearly needed and the potential benefits out-weigh the possible hazards to the fetus.
Breastfeeding: It is not known whether ipratropium/albuterol appears in breast milk. Consult your doctor before you begin breastfeeding.
Children: Safety and effectiveness in children have not been established.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or planning to take any over the-counter or prescription medications or dietary supplements with this drug. Doses of one or both drugs may need to be modified or a different drug may need to be prescribed. The following drugs and drug classes interact with this drug:
Anticholinergic agents (eg, dicyclomine)
Beta-adrenergic agents (eg, epinephrine)
Beta-receptor blocking agents (eg, propranolol)
Diuretics (eg, thiazides)
MAOls (eg, phenelzine)
Tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline)
Every drug is capable of producing side effects. Many patients experience no, or minor, side effects. The frequency and severity of side effects depend on many factors including dose, duration of therapy, and individual susceptibility. possible side effects include:
Digestive Tract: Nausea; vomiting; indigestion; taste changes; dry mouth; diarrhea.
Nervous System: Headache; fatigue; sleeplessness; dizziness; nervousness; tremor.
Respiratory System: Runny nose; sore throat; coughing; difficulty breathing; bronchospasm; bronchitis; pneumonia; sinus infection; upper respiratory tract infection; flulike symptoms; increased mucus.
Circulatory System: Abnormal heart rhythm; pounding in the chest (palpitations); rapid heartbeat; high blood pressure.
Other: Chest, joint, or general body pain; cramps; swelling of feet, ankles, or hands and fingers (edema); difficulty speaking; abnormal skin sensations (eg, burning, prickling, tingling); urinary tract infection; voice alteations.
Guidelines for Use:
Read and follow the patient instructions provided.
Dosage is individualized. Do not exceed recommended dosage. Take exactly as prescribed.
Do not stop taking or change the dose unless instructed by your doctor.
Contact your doctor immediately if your medicine becomes less effective, your breathing symptoms become worse, or if you need to use the medicine more frequently than usual.
If a dose is missed, take it as soon as possible. If several hours have passed or it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up, unless instructed by your doctor. If more than one dose is missed or it is necessary to establish a new dosage schedule, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, become pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
Do not take other inhaled drugs during therapy unless instructed by your doctor.