Bronchodilator: Short-Acting Anticholinergic

What does this drug do?

This drug is a quick-relief medicine, also called a reliever, that relaxes the muscles of the airways and decreases the amount of mucus that is produced. It can also prevent the tightening of the muscles around the airways (bronchospasm) caused by asthma triggers such as pollens, exercise, cold air, and air pollutants.

This medicine is sometimes used to treat an acute asthma attack.

What are other names for this medicine?

Other names for this medicine include ipratropium bromide (Atrovent, Atrovent HFA). Combivent and DuoNeb contain both an anticholinergic (ipratropium bromide) and a short-acting beta 2-agonist (albuterol).

How is it taken?

This medicine can be inhaled as a mist from a nebulizer or from a metered-dose inhaler (MDI).

What is the usual dose?

Nebulizer: The most common nebulizer dose is 0.5 mg of ipratropium bromide mixed in 2.5 ml of saline every 6 to 8 hours.

MDI: The most common dose for an MDI is 2 puffs. Wait at least 6 hours before taking another dose unless your healthcare provider has told you to take it more often. It is best to use a spacer with the MDI so more medicine gets to the lungs.

Your prescribed dose of inhaled _____________________ is _______ ml mixed with ______________ and given by nebulizer ____ times a day.

OR

______ puffs of _______________ inhaled from an MDI using a spacer ____ times a day.

What side effects can this drug cause?

The most common side effect is a dry mouth. Your child may have blurred vision or an enlarged pupil (temporarily) if he accidentally sprays this medicine in his eyes.

What special instructions should be followed?

Do not increase the number of treatments to greater than ________ within a 24-hour period without checking with your healthcare provider. If it seems like your child needs more treatments because the asthma symptoms are not helped by the medicine, call your healthcare provider.

Written by the Asthma Task Force at The Children's Hospital, Denver.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-01-09
Last reviewed: 2008-12-29
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
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