Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergy: In rare cases, immediate allergic reactions may occur after using ipratropium inhalation solution, causing hives, swelling around the throat and tongue, rash, and worsening of breathing problems. If this occurs, get emergency medical help at once.
Asthma attack: Do not use ipratropium alone for the relief of an asthma attack since this medication works slower than other types of medications used for asthma attacks. If it is used for an asthma attack, it should be used together with other medications (e.g., salbutamol) that help open up the airways quickly.
Cystic fibrosis: If you have cystic fibrosis, you may be more likely to experience certain side effects such as constipation. Talk to your doctor about how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Eye concerns: Make sure the nebulizer mask fits the user's face properly and that nebulized solution does not escape into the eyes. There have been rare reports of eye complications (e.g., tearing, increased eye pressure, glaucoma, and eye pain) when this medication has been released into the eyes.
If you have glaucoma, talk to your doctor about how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Mixing with other medications: Do not mix ipratropium solution with preservatives (i.e., from the 20 mL multidose bottle) and sodium cromoglycate, as this produces a cloudy solution caused by an interaction between the preservatives and the sodium cromoglycate. If sodium cromoglycate needs to be used, use ipratropium solution without preservatives (the unit dose vials).
Preservatives: Ipratropium solution in the 20 mL multidose bottle contains preservatives (benzalkonium chloride, disodium ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) disodium). It has been reported that these preservatives may cause a worsening of breathing in some patients with very sensitive airways.
The unit dose vials do not contain preservatives.
Urination problems: If you have a medical condition (e.g., prostate problems, urinary retention, or obstruction) that affects your ability to urinate, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Pregnancy: The safety of using ipratropium during pregnancy has not been established. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using ipratropium inhalation solution, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The efficacy and safety of this medication have not been established for children under 5 years of age.