Atrovent, otherwise known as ipratropium, is a bronchodilator. This means that it relaxes the muscles inside the airways of the respiratory system. It is prescribed mainly to prevent narrowing airways or bronchospasm, and for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and bronchitis.
How it Works
Atrovent is administered to dilate the bronchi. How this works is by blocking muscarinic receptors on the muscles around the airways. This causes these muscles to relax and widen the airways. In this way, people with respiratory problems and other forms of airway blockages can breathe more easily.
There are multiple different medical uses for this drug. Primarily, Atrovent can be used in treating COPD, asthma, especially asthma in conjunction with cardiovascular diseases, rhinorrhea, and other problems of the respiratory system.
This solution can typically be found as a nasal spray or an inhaler. The aerosol solution is usually administered for two inhalations on four occasions over the course of the day. This is the initial dose and may be increased to a maximum of 12 per day as needed. This dosage should not be exceeded under any circumstances. A test spray should be done twice before the first use. The nasal spray of 0.03% should be administered in two sprays for each nostril twice or thrice a day. These doses may vary depending on the age and condition of the patient.
Do not be alarmed if you observe any side effects while using Atrovent. Most are mild and will not require medical intervention.
Such effects may include:
Bad taste in the mouth
Increased stomach acidity
If, however, a more serious side effect arises, it is best to seek immediate medical treatment.
Examples of such side effects include:
Cloudy or bloody urine
Cough and cold-like symptoms
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Tightness in the chest
Certain complications can arise if some individuals take Atrovent. This is why you must make sure that it is safe to take this drug by consulting a physician. Inform him or her about any and all previous illnesses or current diseases. This especially applies to cases of glaucoma and urinary problems. Be sure to also inform of any medications or recreational drugs you have used or currently use. This is the best way for your doctor to ascertain whether or not you should be taking Atrovent or an alternative.
There is insufficient clinical data to determine the effects of Atrovent taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, so inform the doctor if you intend to breastfeed. Atrovent is not expected to cause any harm to an unborn baby. It is still important to speak with your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to get pregnant while being treated.
Always only use Atrovent according to the medical advice given by your doctor. Do not adjust the amount of each dose or use for longer than prescribed periods without the doctor’s consent or request. Follow administration instructions carefully.
Keep the medicine away from heat and open flames as it can explode if overheated. Never burn or puncture empty canisters.