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Bronchodilator: Anticholinergic


What does this drug do?

This drug relaxes the muscles of the airways and decreases the amount of mucus that is produced. It also keeps muscles around the airways from getting too tight when exposed to asthma triggers. Asthma triggers include pollen, animals, molds, colds, exercise, cold air, and air pollutants.

What are other names for this medicine?

Other names for this medicine include ipratropium bromide (Atrovent HFA) and tiotropium bromide (Spiriva). DuoNeb contains both albuterol and ipratropium bromide.

Ipratropium may work in about 15 minutes and lasts for 6 to 8 hours. It is called a short-acting anticholinergic. Tiotropium takes about 20 minutes to work and lasts for 24 hours. It is called a long-acting anticholinergic.

How is it taken?

This medicine can be inhaled using:

  • a nebulizer that produces a fine mist
  • a metered-dose inhaler (MDI)
  • a dry powder inhaler (DPI)

What side effects can this drug cause?

The most common side effect is a dry mouth. If accidentally sprayed in the eyes, your child may have blurred vision or an enlarged pupil (temporarily).

What special instructions should be followed?

Do not increase the number of treatments to more than ________ within a 24-hour period unless you check with your healthcare provider. If your child’s asthma symptoms are not helped by the medicine, call your healthcare provider.


Written by the Asthma Task Force at The Children's Hospital, Denver.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-01-27
Last reviewed: 2010-12-13

This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a health care professional.

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