What is Atrovent?
Atrovent is an anticholinergic medication used to treat asthma. Asthma is a common long term disease that causes inflammation of the lungs. Atrovent is used to make breathing easier for patients with asthma.
Atrovent 250 Unit Dose Vials can also be used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is usually caused by smoking.
Atrovent is a brand name, manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim. The active ingredient is ipratropium bromide. Atrovent is available on prescription from your doctor or pharmacist. Alternatively, we can prescribe it to you online after a brief consultation. Contact us to find out more.
For more information on Atrovent, please refer to the patient information leaflet.
How it works
The active ingredient in Atrovent, ipratropium bromide, works by relaxing the muscles around the airways. As a result, it allows you to breathe more easily. Atrovent is usually taken with a device called a nebuliser, which will turn the medicine into a fine mist for you to inhale.
Atrovent can take up to 15 minutes to begin working. As a result it is not recommended as a rescue inhaler. Rescue inhalers will begin working almost immediately to relieve your symptoms.
Before you take it
You should not take Atrovent if you are allergic to any of the ingredients, including the active ingredient ipratropium bromide. A full list of ingredients is available in the patient information leaflet. If you are allergic to any of these ingredients, you should discuss an alternative treatment for your asthma with your doctor or healthcare professional.
You must also not use Atrovent if you are allergic to similar medications, such as Atropine. You must also not use Atrovent if you have cystic fibrosis.
If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant, you should speak with your doctor before you take Atrovent. There are no specific studies documenting the effect of Atrovent on an unborn baby, so you should only use Atrovent during pregnancy when it is clearly needed.
Do not breastfeed when using Atrovent. It is not known whether and in what quantities that ipratropium bromide passes into breast milk.
Atrovent may cause drowsiness. Do not drive or operate machinery when taking Atrovent until you are fully aware of how the medicine affects you.
If you have glaucoma, it’s possible that Atrovent may increase the pressure in your eyes. Talk to your doctor before you start using Atrovent if you have glaucoma as another treatment for your asthma may be suitable.
Atrovent may increase your risk of experiencing urinary problems. This is especially prevalent in males with prostate issues. If you experience this, speak with your doctor, as it’s possible that anticholinergic medication is unsuitable for you.
It is very important that you tell your doctor of any other medications you are taking before you take Atrovent, as Atrovent has the potential to interact with other medications. Potential drug interactions may be caused by the following medications:
- Oxitropium and tiotropium for asthma treatment
- Promethazine, loratadine, cetirizine or any other antihistamine medication that may cause drowsiness
- Other medicines to treat asthma such as salbutamol
- Theophylline or aminophylline for breathing problems
- Antimuscarinic medicines used to treat Parkinson's Disease
- Certain types of antidepressant such as amitriptyline
- Chlorpromazine and clozapine for antipsychotic treatment
This is not an exhaustive list of warnings and interactions. For a full list, consult the patient information leaflet.
Always take Atrovent exactly as your doctor has prescribed. Do not exceed the stated dose. If you are unsure as to how to take Atrovent or how much to take, ask your doctor or pharmacist for clarification.
For adults and adolescent over 12 years old, a typical dose is 1 or 2 single dose units (around 250 micrograms) up to four times a day. If you experience acute breathlessness, you should use 2 single dose units (500mcg.) The time between doses and how many doses you take should be decided by your doctor.
If this medicine is to be given to children, your doctor will advise you how much to give your child and how often they must take it. You must supervise your child while they take this medication.
Do not take more than 4 doses every 24 hours.
Do not swallow or inject this medication. You must take it exactly as prescribed, using the nebuliser and a mask. Full instructions on how to use Atrovent UDVs (unit dose vials) with the nebuliser are included in the patient information leaflet.
Store Atrovent at room temperature, in a place free from heat and moisture. Keep it out of the sight and reach of children and pets.
Common Side Effects of Atrovent
Like all medication, Atrovent may cause side effects. Typically, these are mild to moderate in nature, and should disappear on their own as your body becomes used to the medication. However, if they persist, or they concern you, consult your doctor or pharmacist. These possible side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Stomach discomfort
- Cough or throat irritation
- Itching or skin rash
Atrovent has the potential to cause more serious side effects. These are rare, but you must report side effects to your doctor immediately as Atrovent may be unsuitable for you. Symptoms include:
- Blurred vision or dilated pupils
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Difficulty passing urine
- Hallucinations, seeing colours or lights
- Pain, stinging or swelling in the eyes
- Palpitations or increased heart rate
Atrovent also may cause a serious allergic reaction in some cases. This is extremely rare but an allergic reaction is an emergency, and you must stop using Atrovent and immediately seek medical advice if you believe you are experiencing an allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:
- Tightness of the chest or throat
- Hives or nettle rash
- Swelling of the face, eyelids, throat, tongue or mouth
This is not an exhaustive list of potential side effects. For a full list, you should read the patient information leaflet.Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Atrovent suitable for children?
Atrovent is sometimes prescribed to children to treat asthma. However, this is at your doctor’s discretion, and it’s possible there is a more suitable medication to treat your child’s condition. Do not administer Atrovent to a child for whom it has not been prescribed. We do not prescribe any medications to anyone under the age of 18.
I’m pregnant. Can I take Atrovent?
It is unknown how Atrovent affects an unborn baby. You should discuss with your doctor if you are pregnant and require a treatment for your asthma or COPD. Atrovent should only be taken during pregnancy if it is deemed absolutely necessary.
What happens if I miss a dose?
If you miss your usual dose of Atrovent, you should take it as soon as you remember, unless it is nearly time for your next dose. If this is the case, skip the missed dose, and continue your dosing schedule as normal. Never take more than one dose to make up for a missed dose.
What happens if I take too much?
An overdose of Atrovent can cause numerous unwanted side effects, including blurred vision, a fast or irregular heartbeat and a dry mouth. If you believe you have taken too much Atrovent, you should visit your doctor or your local hospital casualty department as soon as possible.