Ipratropium

Sounds like 'ip-ra-TRO-pee-um'

Easy-to-read medicine information about ipratropium – what it is, how to use ipratropium safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicineAlso called
  • Belongs to a group of medicines known as bronchodilators
  • Reliever (relieves breathing problems)
  • Inhaler - Atrovent®
  • Nebuliser solution - Univent®

What is ipratropium

  • Ipratropium is available as a puffer or inhaler or as a inhalation solution, to be used with a nebuliser device.
  • Ipratropium is used to treat conditions where breathing is a problem, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)chronic bronchitis, asthma and emphysema.
  • Ipratropium works by relaxing and opening up the air passages and in that way makes breathing easier, improves shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing.
  • It belongs to a group of medicines known as bronchodilators or relievers (it is called a 'reliever' medicine because it quickly relieves your breathing problems).

Dose

  • The usual dose of ipratropium inhaler is 1 puff either 3 or 4 times each day.
  • The usual dose of ipratropium inhalation solution is 500 micrograms every 4 or 6 hours when required for shortness of breath.  
  • Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much to use, how often to use it and any special instructions.   
  • Here is some guidance on how to use your ipratropium inhaler.
  • Here is some guidance on how to use your ipratropium nebulising solution  

Possible side effects

Like all medicines ipratropium can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine. 

Side effectsWhat should I do?
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • A change in voice (hoarse voice)
  • A different taste in your mouth
  • Difficulty urinating
  • These may go away with time.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Changes in your heartbeat (fast or irregular)
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116
  • Difficulty breathing or worsening of your breathing problem.
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116

Learn more

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets: Atrovent

Credits: Written by Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Dr J Bycroft, Health Navigator NZ