The combination of albuterol and ipratropium is used to prevent wheezing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, and coughing in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; a group of diseases that affect the lungs and airways) such as chronic bronchitis (swelling of the air passages that lead to the lungs) and emphysema (damage to the air sacs in the lungs). Albuterol and ipratropium combination is used by people whose symptoms have not been controlled by a single inhaled medication. Albuterol and ipratropium are in a class of medications called bronchodilators. Albuterol and ipratropium combination works by relaxing and opening the air passages to the lungs to make breathing easier.
The combination of albuterol and ipratropium comes as a solution (liquid) to inhale by mouth using a nebulizer (machine that turns medication into a mist that can be inhaled) and as a spray to inhale by mouth using an inhaler. It is usually inhaled four times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use albuterol and ipratropium exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may tell you to use additional doses of albuterol and ipratropium inhalation if you experience symptoms such as wheezing, difficulty breathing, or chest tightness. Follow these directions carefully, and do not use extra doses of medication unless your doctor tells you that you should. Do not use more than 2 extra doses of the nebulizer solution per day. Do not use the inhalation spray more than six times in 24 hours.
Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen, if you feel that albuterol and ipratropium inhalation no longer controls your symptoms, or if you find that you need to use extra doses of the medication more often.
If you are using the inhaler, your medication will come in cartridges. Each cartridge of albuterol and ipratropium inhalation spray is designed to provide 120 inhalations. This is enough medication to last one month if you use one inhalation four times a day. After you use all 120 doses, the inhaler will lock and will not release any more medication, There is a dose indicator on the side of the inhaler that keeps track of how much medication is left in the cartridge. Check the dose indicator from time to time to see how much medication is left. When the pointer on the dose indicator enters the red area, the cartridge contains enough medication for 7 days and it is time to refill your prescription so that you will not run out of medication.
Be careful not to get albuterol and ipratropium inhalation into your eyes. If you get albuterol and ipratropium in your eyes, you may develop narrow angle glaucoma (a serious eye condition that may cause loss of vision). If you already have narrow angle glaucoma, your condition may worsen. You may experience widened pupils (black circles in the center of the eyes), eye pain or redness, blurred vision, and vision changes such as seeing halos around lights, or seeing unusual colors Call your doctor if you get albuterol and ipratropium into your eyes or if you develop these symptoms.
The inhaler that comes with albuterol and ipratropium spray is designed for use only with a cartridge of albuterol and ipratropium. Never use it to inhale any other medication, and do not use any other inhaler to inhale the medication in a cartridge of albuterol and ipratropium.
Before you use albuterol and ipratropium inhalation for the first time, read the written instructions that come with the inhaler or nebulizer. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist to show you how to use it. Practice using the inhaler or nebulizer while he or she watches.
To prepare the inhaler for use, follow these steps:
To inhale the spray using the inhaler, follow these steps:
To inhale the solution using a nebulizer, follow these steps:
Clean your inhaler or nebulizer regularly. Follow the manufacturer's directions carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about cleaning your inhaler or nebulizer.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before using albuterol and ipratropium inhalation,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
This medication may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Albuterol and ipratropium may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are using this medication.
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Keep unused vials of nebulizer solution in the foil pouch until you are ready to use them. Store the medication at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not allow the inhalation spray to freeze.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.