Generic Combivent Respimat
Ipratropium/albuterol (i pra TROE pee um & al BYOO ter ole) is a generic medication prescribed for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Ipratropium/albuterol belongs to a group of drugs called bronchodilators.
Medically reviewed by Dena Westphalen, PharmD on May 4, 2023
Written by Patricia Weiser, PharmD
Specifically, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved ipratropium/albuterol to treat bronchospasm (narrowing of the airways in your lungs) due to COPD. It’s used in adults who need more than one bronchodilator to treat this condition.
This article describes ipratropium/albuterol’s uses, side effects, and more. Below you’ll also find some coupon options to help save on the cost of ipratropium/albuterol.
Side effects of ipratropium/albuterol
Ipratropium/albuterol may cause mild or serious side effects (also known as adverse effects). More common mild side effects of ipratropium/albuterol and its serious side effects are listed below. This article doesn’t include all possible side effects of the drug. Side effects can vary based on your age, overall health, and any other medications you take.
To learn more about ipratropium/albuterol’s side effects, ask your doctor or pharmacist. You can also read the prescribing information for ipratropium/albuterol.
Mild side effects
More common mild side effects reported with ipratropium/albuterol inhalation solution are listed below. This article doesn’t include all possible mild side effects of the drug.
With many drugs, mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If the side effects are bothersome, tell your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest ways to manage them.
Ipratropium/albuterol’s mild side effects include:
- sore throat
- chest discomfort
- infection, such as urinary tract infection (UTI) or bronchitis
- mild allergic reaction*
* For details about this side effect, see the “Interactions and warnings for ipratropium/albuterol” section below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects of ipratropium/albuterol inhalation solution are listed below. This article doesn’t include all possible serious side effects of the drug.
With many drugs, serious side effects are possible but not common. If you have serious side effects from this drug, call your doctor right away. If you’re having severe symptoms or a medical emergency, call 911 or a local emergency number.
In general, ipratropium/albuterol’s serious side effects include:
- paradoxical bronchospasm (when the narrowing of your airways gets worse instead of better)
- severe allergic reaction*
* For details about this side effect, see the “Interactions and warnings for ipratropium/albuterol” section below.
Dosage of ipratropium/albuterol
The dosage of ipratropium/albuterol your doctor prescribes may vary based on your condition and certain other factors. Talk with your doctor about the dosage you should use.
Ipratropium/albuterol is a liquid solution that you inhale using a nebulizer attached to a mouthpiece or mask. A nebulizer works by turning a liquid solution into a mist that you inhale through a mouthpiece or mask. A healthcare professional will show you how to use a nebulizer.
It usually takes about 5–15 minutes to inhale one dose of ipratropium/albuterol.
You shouldn’t eat while you’re taking a dose of ipratropium/albuterol, but you can eat before or after each dose.
Your doctor will talk with you about how to use ipratropium/albuterol. They’ll explain how much to inhale and how often. Always follow your doctor’s recommendation.
Overdose of ipratropium/albuterol
You should not inhale more ipratropium/albuterol than your doctor prescribes. For some drugs, doing so may lead to serious side effects or overdose.
If you think you’ve used too much ipratropium/albuterol, call your doctor or pharmacist right away. Or you could call 800-222-1222 to speak with someone at America’s Poison Centers. You can also use its online resource. If you have concerning symptoms, call 911 or a local emergency number immediately. You can also go to the closest emergency room.
Common questions about ipratropium/albuterol
Below you’ll find answers to a few commonly asked questions about ipratropium/albuterol.
How does ipratropium/albuterol compare with other similar drugs, such as tiotropium?
Ipratropium is one of the drugs in ipratropium/albuterol and is similar to tiotropium. Both ipratropium and tiotropium are prescribed to treat breathing problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Tiotropium is an ingredient in the following brand-name drugs:
- Stiolto Respimat inhaler
- Spiriva HandiHaler inhaler
- Spiriva Respimat inhaler
Your doctor or a pharmacist can tell you more about how ipratropium/albuterol compares with similar drugs, including tiotropium.
Can ipratropium/albuterol be used for asthma?
By itself, albuterol is commonly prescribed to treat asthma. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved the combination drug ipratropium/albuterol for asthma. However, doctors may prescribe ipratropium/albuterol off-label for this purpose.
With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about treatment options for asthma.
How does ipratropium/albuterol work? And how long does it take to start working?
Ipratropium and albuterol are two drugs that work together to open or widen the airways in your lungs. This effect is called bronchodilation. Treatment with ipratropium/albuterol makes it easier to breathe for people with COPD.
Ipratropium/albuterol starts working within 15 minutes to treat symptoms of COPD, such as shortness of breath. It keeps working for up to 5 hours after you take a dose.
Your doctor or a pharmacist can tell you more about how ipratropium/albuterol works and what to expect with treatment.
Is ipratropium/albuterol an anticholinergic?
Ipratropium and albuterol are short-acting bronchodilators (drugs used to widen the airways in the lungs). Specifically, ipratropium belongs to a drug class called anticholinergics. Albuterol belongs to a drug class called short-acting beta-agonists.
Anticholinergic drugs are known for causing certain side effects, such as constipation and blurred vision. Ipratropium/albuterol may cause these side effects, but they are usually mild if they occur.
This is because the drug is inhaled and mainly works in your lungs. Very little of the drug absorbs into your bloodstream, so it doesn’t significantly affect other areas of your body. However, using ipratropium/albuterol in combination with other anticholinergic drugs may increase the risk or severity of these side effects.
You can talk with your doctor or a pharmacist to learn more about how ipratropium/albuterol is classified.
Can ipratropium/albuterol be used with Trelegy Ellipta?
Doctors may prescribe ipratropium/albuterol or Trelegy Ellipta to treat your COPD, but they usually aren’t prescribed together. This is because these medications contain similar ingredients and work in similar ways.
Trelegy Ellipta is a brand-name inhaler. It contains three drugs: fluticasone (a steroid), umeclidinium (an anticholinergic), and vilanterol (a long-acting beta-agonist). These ingredients help to reduce swelling and damage and open the air passages in your lungs, making it easier to breathe.
Ipratropium/albuterol is a liquid solution that you inhale using a nebulizer. It’s a generic* medication that contains two drugs: ipratropium (an anticholinergic) and albuterol (a short-acting beta-agonist). These ingredients work together to widen the airways in your lungs.
* A generic medication is an identical copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. (An active drug is the ingredient that makes a medication work.)
Is it safe to use expired ipratropium/albuterol?
No, because medications may no longer be effective after they expire. It’s important to use ipratropium/albuterol that’s within its expiration date. You should not use the drug if it’s expired.
If your ipratropium/albuterol is expired, talk with your pharmacist or doctor to refill or renew your prescription.
Uses of ipratropium/albuterol
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as ipratropium/albuterol for certain conditions. Approved uses for ipratropium/albuterol are described below.
Use for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Doctors may prescribe ipratropium/albuterol for treating COPD. It’s used for this purpose in adults. It’s usually prescribed as a long-term treatment.
COPD is a group of lung conditions that get worse over time. COPD includes emphysema, long-term bronchitis, or both. These conditions cause swelling, damage, and bronchospasm (narrowing of the airways) in your lungs.
Specifically, the FDA has approved ipratropium/albuterol to treat bronchospasm due to COPD. It’s used in people who need more than one bronchodilator to manage their symptoms. (Bronchodilators are a group of drugs. Ipratropium and albuterol belong to this group.)
Symptoms of bronchospasm can include:
- shortness of breath
- chest tightness
- excess mucus
- fatigue (low energy)
Ipratropium/albuterol inhalation solution isn’t a cure for COPD, but it can help lessen the symptoms. The drug works by causing the airways in your lungs to widen. This makes it easier to breathe.
You may be able to save money on your prescription for ipratropium/albuterol by using our Perks discount coupons. They can be found at the end of this article.
If you have questions about how to pay for ipratropium/albuterol, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Note: Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with insurance copays or benefits.
Interactions and warnings for ipratropium/albuterol
Below, you’ll find information about ipratropium/albuterol’s possible interactions and warnings.
Interactions of ipratropium/albuterol
For some medications, certain things may affect how the drug works. These include getting vaccines, consuming alcohol or certain foods, or taking the drug with other medications. This effect is called a drug interaction.
Before you take/use ipratropium/albuterol, ask your doctor to check for possible interactions. Be sure to tell them about any of the following you take or use:
- prescription medications
- over-the-counter medications
- vitamins, herbs, or supplements
To learn about drug-condition interactions, see the “Warnings for ipratropium/albuterol” section just below.
Warnings for ipratropium/albuterol
Some people should not use ipratropium/albuterol and others should use it cautiously.
Ipratropium/albuterol could cause harm to people with certain health conditions. This effect is called a drug-condition interaction. Other factors can also affect whether ipratropium/albuterol is a safe option for you.
Ask your doctor about specific warnings for ipratropium/albuterol, and be sure to tell your doctor about your:
- current health, including any allergies to medications
- past health conditions or surgeries
Ipratropium/albuterol can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Severe allergic reactions are rare but possible.
If you’ve had an allergic reaction to ipratropium/albuterol or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe ipratropium/albuterol. They can tell you about medications that are safer options for you.
A mild allergic reaction may cause the following symptoms:
A severe allergic reaction may cause the following symptoms:
- swelling under your skin, usually in your hands, feet, eyelids, or lips
- swelling of your mouth, throat, or tongue, which can cause breathing problems
If you have an allergic reaction to ipratropium/albuterol, call your doctor right away. If you have severe symptoms, call 911 or a local emergency number.
Pregnancy or breastfeeding and ipratropium/albuterol
Information about ipratropium/albuterol and pregnancy and breastfeeding is described below.
Ipratropium/albuterol and pregnancy
It’s not known whether ipratropium/albuterol should be used during pregnancy. If you’re planning a pregnancy or can become pregnant, talk with your doctor before using this medication.
Ipratropium/albuterol and breastfeeding
It’s not known whether ipratropium/albuterol should be used while breastfeeding. If you’re currently breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before using this medication.
What to ask your doctor
This article describes ipratropium/albuterol’s uses and dosage, ways to save on cost, and more. Let your doctor know if you have questions about ipratropium/albuterol or would like more details about it.
Here’s a list of some possible questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- Should I use ipratropium/albuterol even when I don’t have symptoms?
- Are there other options if ipratropium/albuterol doesn’t help lower my symptoms enough?
- Can I use my albuterol inhaler as needed between doses of ipratropium/albuterol?
- Food and Drug Administration. (2023). Orange Book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/ob/index.cfm
- Ipratropium bromide and albuterol sulfate- ipratropium bromide and albuterol sulfate solution. (2023). https://nctr-crs.fda.gov/fdalabel/services/spl/set-ids/18eb6536-3ec4-41b1-aeb8-df82ace1b28e/spl-doc
Disclaimer: Optum Perks has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
- 90ml of ALBUTER
- 2 Packages
Ipratropium and Albuterol Inhalation Solution
(i pra TROE pee um & al BYOO ter ole)
Brand Names: US
What is this drug used for?
It is used to open the airways in lung diseases where spasm may cause breathing problems.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?
If you have an allergy to ipratropium, albuterol, or any other part of this drug. If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had. If you take other drugs called anticholinergics, like ipratropium or oxybutynin. Ask your doctor if you are not sure if any of your drugs are anticholinergic. If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?
Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how this drug affects you. Do not take more of this drug or use it more often than you have been told. Deaths have happened when too much of this drug was taken. Talk with your doctor. Call your doctor right away if your normal dose does not work well, if your signs get worse, or if you need to use this drug more often than normal. If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely. Do not get this drug in the eyes. If this drug gets in the eyes, rinse with water right away. Call the doctor right away if this drug gets in the eyes and blurred eyesight, worsened glaucoma, or eye pain happens. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect: Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat. Signs of low potassium levels like muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal. Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight. Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat. A heartbeat that does not feel normal. Change in eyesight, eye pain, or very bad eye irritation. Seeing halos or bright colors around lights. Red eyes. Trouble passing urine, pain when passing urine, passing urine in a weak stream or drips, or passing urine more often. Very bad dizziness or passing out. This drug can cause very bad breathing problems right after you take a dose. Sometimes, this may be life-threatening. If you have trouble breathing, breathing that is worse, wheezing, or coughing after using this drug, use a rescue inhaler and get medical help right away.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away: Feeling nervous and excitable. Headache. Shakiness. These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
How is this drug best taken?
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely. For breathing in only as a liquid (solution) by a special machine (nebulizer) into the lungs. Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles. Do not use if solution changes color. Do not mix other drugs in nebulizer.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
If you use this drug on a regular basis, use a missed dose as soon as you think about it. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time. Do not use 2 doses at the same time or extra doses. Many times this drug is used on an as needed basis. Do not use more often than told by the doctor.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
Store at room temperature. Do not freeze. Protect from light. Store unused containers in foil pouch until use. Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets. Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
General drug facts
If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor. Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs. Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider. If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.