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albuterol and ipratropium (inhalation) (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using albuterol and ipratropium inhalation (Combivent, DuoNeb)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin), ipratropium (Atrovent), or atropine (Atreza, Sal-Tropine). Do not use Combivent if you are allergic to soybeans, peanuts, or other food products that contain soya lecithin.

To make sure you can safely use this medication, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or heart rhythm disorder;
  • a seizure disorder such as epilepsy;
  • diabetes;
  • overactive thyroid;
  • glaucoma;
  • enlarged prostate, problems with urination; or
  • liver or kidney disease.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this medication is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using albuterol and ipratropium inhalation.

How should I use albuterol and ipratropium inhalation (Combivent, DuoNeb)?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

This medication may increase the risk of asthma-related death. It is critical that you use only the prescribed dose of this medicine and follow all patient instructions for safe use of the medication.

Albuterol and ipratropium inhalation comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

To use the inhaler (Combivent):

  • Shake the canister vigorously for at least 10 seconds before each spray.
  • Uncap the mouthpiece of the inhaler. Breathe out fully. Put the mouthpiece into your mouth and close your lips. Keep your eyes closed to prevent spraying any medicine into your eyes. Breathe in slowly while pushing down on the canister. Hold your breath for 10 seconds, then breathe out slowly.
  • If you use more than one inhalation at a time, wait at least 2 minutes before using the second inhalation.
  • Keep your inhaler clean and dry, and store it with the cap on the mouthpiece. Clean your inhaler once a week by removing the canister and placing the mouthpiece under warm running water for at least 30 seconds. Allow the parts to dry before putting the inhaler back together.

To use the solution with a nebulizer (Duoneb):

  • Open the foil pouch and remove one vial. Squeeze all of the medicine out into the chamber of the nebulizer.
  • Attach the mouthpiece or face mask to the drug chamber. Then, attach the drug chamber to the compressor. Sit upright in a comfortable position. Place the mouthpiece into your mouth or put the face mask on, covering your nose and mouth.
  • Breathe in slowly and evenly until you have inhaled all of the medicine (usually 5 to 15 minutes). The treatment is complete when no more mist is formed by the nebulizer and the drug chamber is empty.
  • Clean the nebulizer after each use. Follow the cleaning directions that came with your nebulizer.

Call your doctor right away if any of your medications do not seem to work as well in preventing attacks.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your lung function will need to be tested often. You may also need blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.

Store Combivent at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Extreme heat can cause the medicine canister to burst. Do not store it in your car on hot days. Do not throw an empty canister into open flame.

Use albuterol and ipratropium inhalation regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Store Duoneb at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep each vial in its foil pouch until you are ready to use it.

Keep track of the number of sprays you have used and throw away the inhaler canister after 200 sprays, even if it feels like there is still medicine in it.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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