How It Works
Ipratropium helps keep the tubes in the
lungs (bronchial tubes) from narrowing.
Anticholinergics begin to
work within 15 minutes. They work best after 1 to 2 hours, usually last 3 to 4
hours, and sometimes last up to 6 hours. Anticholinergic medicines can be taken
by using an
Why It Is Used
Anticholinergics are sometimes used
along with bronchodilators to improve breathing when inflammation or lots of
mucus in the lungs makes it hard to breathe.
How Well It Works
Anticholinergics do not work for
all people who have
. More research is needed to know just
how well they work for people who have cystic fibrosis.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
- Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
- Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
- If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
- Trouble breathing.
- Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Side effects are rare with inhaled
ipratropium but can include:
- A dry mouth.
- Increased wheezing (a
whistling sound when you breathe).
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
If you have the eye disease
, talk with an eye doctor before you start
taking anticholinergics. People who have glaucoma may need to be watched more
closely while they are taking these medicines.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.