What is ipratropium?

Ipratropium inhalation is used to prevent bronchospasm, or narrowing airways in the lungs, in people with bronchitis, emphysema, or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Ipratropium inhalation may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Ipratropium inhalation is used to prevent bronchospasm attacks. This medication will not treat bronchospasm while it is happening. You may still have difficulty breathing and may need to use one of your other medicines to treat the attack. To best control your condition, use ipratropium inhalation regularly, and continue using all your other medicines as directed by your doctor.

Before using ipratropium inhalation, tell your doctor if you have:

  • narrow-angle glaucoma; or
  • an enlarged prostate or a bladder obstruction.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication.

FDA pregnancy category B: This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use ipratropium inhalation without telling your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known if ipratropium passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use ipratropium inhalation without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Ipratropium inhalation should not be used by a child younger than 12 years of age.

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes. If this happens, rinse with water.

Back to top


Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Ipratropium inhalation is not expected to cause overdose symptoms.

Use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Back to top

Side effects

Stop using ipratropium inhalation and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a fast, pounding heartbeat.

Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • headache, dizziness;
  • dry mouth, cough, hoarseness;
  • nausea, upset stomach; or
  • blurred vision.

If you switch from Atrovent to Atrovent HFA, you may notice a slightly different taste or feel after inhaling the medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Back to top


Before using ipratropium inhalation, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following medicines:

  • atropine (Donnatal, and others),
  • belladonna,
  • clidinium (Quarzan),
  • dicyclomine (Bentyl),
  • glycopyrrolate (Robinul),
  • hyoscyamine (Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin, and others)
  • mepenzolate (Cantil),
  • methantheline (Provocholine),
  • methscopolamine (Pamine), and
  • propantheline (Pro-Banthine), or
  • scopolamine (Transderm-Scop).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs not listed that can affect ipratropium inhalation. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Atrovent HFA, ipratropium, and Atrovent

Back to top


Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

Last updated: