Meds and you

27 September 2013

Ipratropium bromide

Ipratropium bromide is a broncho-dilator. Broncho-dilators are drugs that relax the muscles around the airways, helping the airways to open up.

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Ipratropium bromide is the active ingredient of Adco-Ipratropium Bromide inhalation solution (Nappi code: 890164-007, 89172-003), Atrovent unit dose vials (Nappi code: 794007-007, 786241-004), Atrovent HFA metered dose inhaler (Nappi code: 706543-001), Atrovent inhalation solution (Nappi code: 835633-004) & Ipvent-40 metered dose inhaler (Nappi code: 704681-001).

General information

Ipratropium bromide is a broncho-dilator. Broncho-dilators are drugs that relax the muscles around the airways, helping the airways to open up, so making it easier to breathe.

In South Africa ipratropium bromide is registered for the treatment of broncho-spasm in chronic bronchitis, and asthma.

Ipratropium bromide takes longer to start working compared to some other broncho-dilators (its effects last longer than that of most of the others, though). Because of this, ipratropium alone is not the ideal drug for treating acute asthma attacks and it's often combined with other faster-acting drugs.

How does ipratropium bromide work?

Ipratropium blocks the effect of a chemical called acetylcholine, which causes narrowing of the airways. By doing this, the muscle around the airways relaxes and the airways open up, making breathing easier.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 3

Available as: ipratropium bromide is available as unit-dose vials, a solution for inhalation, and a metered-dose inhaler

What does it do? Ipratropium bromide widens/opens the airways to make breathing easier.

Overdose risk: low

Dependence risk: low

Is ipratropium bromide available as a generic? yes

Is ipratropium bromide available on prescription only? yes

User information

Onset of effect: within 15 minutes

Duration of action: up to 8 hours

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have glaucoma
  • you have an enlarged prostate
  • you have been diagnosed with bladder neck obstruction
  • you have cystic fibrosis

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children under the age of 6 years.

The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.

Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be taken.

Alcohol: no special precautions need to be taken.

Possible side effects

Side effects Frequency
Call your doctor

Common Rare Only if severe In all cases
dry mouth x
x
dry throat x
x
blurred vision
x
x
headache
x x
urinary retention
x
x

Interactions

Drug interactions

No significant interactions known.

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults: Use 3 - 4 times daily, as directed.

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This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only.

Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 
 

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