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Ipratropium and Albuterol
Why is this medication prescribed?
The combination of ipratropium and albuterol, a bronchodilator, is used with other bronchodilators to prevent wheezing, shortness of breath, and troubled breathing caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It relaxes and opens the air passages to the lungs, making it easier to breathe.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
The combination of ipratropium and albuterol comes as an aerosol to inhale by mouth. 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. Take ipratropium and albuterol exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may instruct you to take additional puffs if needed. However, do not take more than twelve puffs in 24 hours.
The combination of ipratropium and albuterol controls the symptoms of COPD but does not cure it. Continue to use ipratropium and albuterol even if you feel well. Do not stop taking ipratropium and albuterol without talking to your doctor.
Before you use ipratropium and albuterol for the first time, read the written instructions that come with the medication. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist to demonstrate the proper technique. Practice using the inhaler while in his or her presence.
To use the inhaler, follow these steps:
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking ipratropium and albuterol,
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take 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 take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Side effects from ipratropium and albuterol are not common, but they can occur. Tell yourdoctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication. Avoid puncturing the aerosol container, and do not discard it in an incinerator or fire.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.
Inhalation devices require regular cleaning. Follow the written directions for care and cleaning included with the inhalation device. Once a week, remove the aerosol container from the mouthpiece, wash the mouthpiece with warm tap water, and dry it thoroughly.
To relieve the dry mouth or throat irritation caused by ipratropium and albuterol inhalation, rinse your mouth with water, chew gum, or suck sugarless hard candy after using ipratropium and albuterol.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
Some patients may have more difficulty breathing after using a new inhaler for the first time. Contact your doctor if this happens to you.
If you are using a new inhaler for the first time or if you have not used the inhaler for more than 24 hours, you should spray the inhaler in the air three times before use to make sure it is working properly.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT