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Atrovent

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About Product
Mohamed Imran Lakhi
This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by
Mohamed Imran Lakhi Content Administrator GPhC: 2060586 Updated on: 15/01/2021 Next review: 15/07/2021

What is Atrovent?

Atrovent is an anticholinergic which contains a corticosteroid (steroid) called ipratropium bromide. It acts like a bronchodilator and is taken to relieve the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Bronchospasm occurs when the airways leading to the lungs (bronchi) constrict and tighten. It can be triggered by respiratory illnesses such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary syndrome (COPD), but can also happen when a person is exposed to an allergen such as dust, smoke or pollen.

Illnesses, medicines, weather, exercise and even emotions can also cause bronchospasm symptoms.

Symptoms of bronchospasm include:

  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Pain or tightness in the chest
  • Wheezing

Atrovent does not replace your reliever inhaler and should not be used to treat an asthma attack.

You can easily buy Atrovent online following a quick consultation. Our online prescription service makes it fast and convenient to get the treatment you need delivered straight to your door via a discreet delivery service.


How does Atrovent work?

Atrovent contains the active ingredient ipratropium bromide, known as an anticholinergic bronchodilator.

It works by blocking muscarinic receptors found in the soft muscles which surround the airways. This helps the muscles to relax, allowing the airways to open.

When taken, it prevents the muscles from tightening around the airways, providing relief and opening the airways to ease breathing.


How to take Atrovent?

Always follow the dose prescribed by your doctor when using Atrovent. For adults, this is usually 1 or 2 puffs, taken three or four times daily.

You should make sure you know how to use the inhaler correctly to obtain the maximum benefit from Atrovent.

How to use your Atrovent inhaler

Before using your Atrovent inhaler for the first time, you need to prime it.

To prime your inhaler, hold the inhaler away from you and depress the canister until you see a fine mist. Seeing this means your inhaler is ready to use.

To use your Atrovent inhaler:

  1. Remove the cap from the mouthpiece.
  2. Hold the inhaler away from your mouth and gently breathe out.
  3. Put the mouthpiece into your mouth and ensure a good seal with your lips.
  4. Start to breathe in deeply and slowly through your mouth.
  5. Press the top of the inhaler firmly. This will release a puff of your medicine.
  6. Continue breathing in.
  7. Hold your breath for as long as comfortable. Aim for around 10 seconds.
  8. Breathe out slowly.
  9. Replace the cap and store your inhaler in a safe place.

If you are taking another puff, wait at least a minute before taking another puff. When you are ready to do so, follow steps 2 through 8.

If you find it difficult to press the inhaler down while breathing in, speak to your doctor or pharmacist. You may need to use a spacer device, which makes administering the required dose of Atrovent easier.

Take care to avoid accidentally spraying Atrovent in your eyes, as this can cause stinging, red eyes, dilated pupils, blurred vision and visual disturbances. If this happens, speak to your doctor for advice.

What should I do if I take too much Atrovent?

If you take too much Atrovent, talk to a doctor or go straight to the hospital. Take all your inhalers and any other medicines you were taking with you.

Taking too much Atrovent can cause a dry mouth, a rapid heartbeat or blurred vision.


Atrovent Side effects and Cautions

All medicines have the potential to cause side effects, though not everyone will experience them. Knowing the side effects to look out for is important for your health.

Common side effects of Atrovent include:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Throat irritation

Uncommon side effects of Atrovent include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dry throat
  • Itching
  • Mouth or lip sores
  • Nettle rash (urticaria)
  • Painful, red or swollen eyes
  • Skin rash
  • Swelling of the throat
  • Unexpected tightness of the chest
  • Vomiting

Further information regarding the safety of Atrovent, including a full list of side effects, can be found inside the patient information leaflet, which is enclosed with your medicine.

If you experience any side effects, whether they are listed above or in the patient information leaflet, speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

Will Atrovent interact with any other medicine I am taking?

Before using Atrovent, please inform our prescriber of all the medicines you take, including those with or without prescription and health supplements. Atrovent may interact with other medicines.

Who should not take Atrovent?

Do not take Atrovent if you are:

  • allergic (hypersensitive) to ipratropium or any of the other ingredients in Atrovent.
  • allergic to similar medicines which contain atropine or medicines like atropine.
  • pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding.

If you are not sure whether the above contraindications apply to you, speak to your doctor.

Speak to your doctor before Atrovent if you:

  • are a man who has prostate problems
  • are taking medicine called 'xanthines' to help your breathing
  • are taking other anticholinergic medicines for COPD, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), urinary incontinence, or cough.
  • are using other inhalers to treat asthma (Ventolin or Seretide)
  • have cystic fibrosis
  • have glaucoma or have a family history.
  • have problems passing urine

If you are not sure whether the above applies to you, speak to your doctor.

Always store your medicine out of the sight and reach of children.


Frequently asked questions

When should I take Atrovent?

Atrovent is taken daily to prevent the symptoms of bronchospasm in patients with COPD.

Is Atrovent the same as Ventolin?

No, Atrovent is not the same as Ventolin. Ventolin contains salbutamol while Atrovent contains ipratropium bromide.

Is Atrovent short or long acting?

Atrovent is a long-acting inhaler. It is used to prevent COPD symptoms from occurring when taken regularly.

How long does it take for Atrovent to start working?

Atrovent takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes to start working after taking it.

Will Atrovent affect my ability to drive or operate machinery?

It may not be suitable for you to drive a car or operate machinery when using Atrovent, if you experience side effects of dizziness or blurred vision.


Table of contents

What is Atrovent?

How does Atrovent work?

How to take Atrovent?

Side effects and cautions

Frequently asked questions

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Atrovent
  • Active Ingredient(s): Ipratropium bromide
  • Manufacturer: Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Administration: Oral inhalation
  • Presentation: Canister/actuator
  • Available Strength: 20mcg per actuation
  • Exemption: Prescription-only
  • Application: Adults with COPD
  • Dosage: Do not take more than 8 puffs in 24 hours
  • Description: Atrovent is an inhaler used to prevent bronchospasm
  • Drug class: Anticholinergic
  • Alcohol consumption: No influence
  • When breastfeeding: Tell your prescriber if you are breastfeeding
  • When pregnant: Tell your prescriber if you are pregnant
Click here to view the Atrovent - Patient Information Leaflet

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