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What is Atrovent inhaler?

Atrovent Inhaler CFC-Free, also known as Atrovent HFA, is the brand name of an inhaler that contains 20mcg of the active ingredient ipratropium bromide. This medicine belongs to the class of drugs called anticholinergics, which act as bronchodilators.

The medicine comes in a CFC-free canister that contains a pressurised solution for inhalation (200 actuations). This CFC-free metered-dose inhaler was developed by Boehringer Ingelheim and offers an environmentally friendly alternative for CFC aerosol canisters, which damage the ozone layer.

What is Atrovent used for?

Atrovent is a medication prescribed to help people with asthma or bronchospasm caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, to breathe easier. At euroClinix, we offer Atrovent inhalers for managing asthma and COPD, though this medication can also be used for other purposes.

How often should you use Atrovent inhaler?

The dosage of your Atrovent inhaler will be determined by your age, medical condition, and severity of your symptoms. Your doctor can help you determine the precise dosage and frequency of use.

These are the recommended dosage instructions for adults, as stated in the information leaflet:

  • inhale one or two puffs three or four times a day
  • at times during early treatment, up to four puffs may be taken at a time

How does Atrovent work?

Ipratropium bromide, an active ingredient in Atrovent, is an anticholinergic (parasympatholytic) drug that blocks the action of acetylcholine at neuromuscular junctions in the lung. Acetylcholine is used by nerves to communicate with muscle cells, and it works by relaxing muscles in the airways to improve breathing by decreasing inflammation and swelling in the airways.

By stimulating the muscles surrounding the airways, cholinergic nerves narrow the airways in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). By blocking cholinergic nerves, Atrovent has an anti-cholinergic effect, which causes muscles to relax and airways to dilate.

Atrovent works to alleviate the following symptoms:

  • breathing problems
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • having a tight feeling in your chest

Please note: Atrovent is not a reliever inhaler. It will not relieve an asthma attack that has already begun.

How should I use Atrovent?

Atrovent should be used exactly as your doctor has prescribed. Consult the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medication for further information.

Testing your inhaler:

  • Before using your inhaler for the first time, and whenever you haven't used it for more than 3 days, make sure it works by shooting it twice into the air.

Using your inhaler:

  1. The cap should be removed from the mouthpiece
  2. Hold the inhaler (pointing upwards) and gently exhale
  3. Put the mouthpiece in your mouth right away
  4. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your mouth
  5. Firmly press the top of the inhaler, a puff of medicine will be released
  6. Take a breath and hold it for as long as you can
  7. Exhale slowly

Wait at least one minute between puffs if you are taking more than one. Replace the cap on the mouthpiece after use. To prevent dry mouth and throat irritation, rinse your mouth with water after using the inhaler. Take no more than 12 puffs in a 24-hour period.

Atrovent should start working within 15 minutes and last for up to 12 hours.

If you find it difficult to breathe in and press the inhaler at the same time, you can use a spacer device. Avoid getting any spray into your eyes while using Atrovent. This may cause eye pain or other side effects.

What happens if I miss a dose?

In the event that you forget to use Atrovent:

  • if you miss a dose, inhale it as soon as you remember
  • skip the missed dose if it is time for the next dose
  • do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose

Who can use Atrovent?

Atrovent is intended for use by individuals with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), commonly known as bronchitis.

Who should not use Atrovent?

It is not recommended that you use Atrovent if any of the following applies to you:

  • you are hypersensitive to any of the ingredients, including ipratropium
  • you are allergic to medicines containing atropine
  • you are pregnant, think you're pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding

Before using this inhaler, tell your doctor if any of these apply to you. An alternative inhaler might be recommended.

This drug may worsen the symptoms of certain medical conditions, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and narrow-angle glaucoma due to its anticholinergic effect. Let your doctor know if you have:

  • glaucoma or have been told that you may develop it
  • problems passing urine
  • problems with the prostate
  • cystic fibrosis

What are the side effects of Atrovent?

It is generally considered to be safe to take Atrovent. As with any medication, there may be some possible side effects. Although not everyone gets them, the most common side effects subside on their own once your body gets used to the medicine.

The most common side effects of Atrovent are:

  • dry mouth
  • cough
  • throat irritation
  • headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • trouble breathing

While taking Atrovent, you might also feel dizzy, have difficulty focusing, or have blurred vision. Atrovent is rarely associated with other adverse reactions, such as being sick, having diarrhoea, or constipation, or having serious side effects, such as life-threatening paradoxical bronchospasms. Allergic reactions to this medication may cause a rash, itching, or closure of the airways.

Are there any interactions between Atrovent and other medications?

Before using Atrovent, tell your doctor if you are taking any medication, including supplements and herbal medicines. Some drug interactions might impair Atrovent's effectiveness:

  • other anticholinergic medicines including those used to treat COPD (such as tiotropium), irritable bowel syndrome (mebeverine), urinary incontinence (oxybutynin, solifenacin) or cough (such as dextromethorphan)
  • other inhalers such as salbutamol (Ventolin)
  • "xanthines" including theophylline and aminophylline

How can I buy Atrovent inhaler online in the UK?

Atrovent is a prescription-only medicine available through euroClinix after filling out a short questionnaire, which will be reviewed by a UK-registered doctor. Based on your health and medical history, our doctors can determine if Atrovent is right for you. Our pharmacy will dispense and dispatch your medication via our next day delivery service, free of charge.

Note: You must complete a short online consultation so that our doctor can ensure that the treatment is suitable for you. The above pricing should only be used as a reference. The final decision to issue this treatment lies with the prescribing doctor.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Anand Abbot Written by our editorial team
Last reviewed 21-12-2022
Atrovent information
Product name Atrovent
Active ingredient(s) Ipratropium bromide
Manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim
Trustpilot rating 4.6/5
Trustpilot reviews 38
Availability Out of stock
Description Atrovent is a preventative asthma treatment used to reduce the risk of asthma symptoms occurring
Exemption Subject to medical prescription
Administration Oral
Presentation Inhaler
Available dosage 20mcg
Application Men and women over 18 with asthma
Usage Use on a daily basis to prevent asthma symptoms
Drug class Anticholinergics, short-acting
Alcohol consumption No influence
When breastfeeding Not recommended, ask your doctor for alternatives
When pregnant Not recommended, ask your doctor for alternatives
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Atrovent reviews
Pack of Atrovent Inhaler CFC-Free 20 micrograms/actuation pressurised inhalation solution Excellent 4.6 38 patients have reviewed Atrovent on Trustpilot
31 Aug

Would definitely use again!

Ann Jones
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