Understanding Asthma Medications (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Ipratropium bromide (Atrovent) and tiotropium (Spiriva) are used with beta-agonists for severe symptoms.
How anticholinergic inhalers work
These drugs decrease bronchospasm and secretion of mucus in airways and are often used with albuterol to enhance effectiveness. In general, they are not as effective as the beta-agonists in treating asthma.
Who should not use these medications
Both handheld inhalers and a solution for use with a nebulizer are available. Many inhaled products have specific devices and you should be thoroughly informed on how to use the inhaler or nebulizer prescribed for you. These drugs are typically used three to four times per day.
Drug or food interactions
Since anticholinergic inhalers have little or no effect beyond the area applied, they are unlikely to interact with other drugs.
Anticholinergic inhalers are not indicated for acute asthma attacks. The most common adverse effect is dry mouth. Individuals with glaucoma should be closely monitored by their ophthalmologist.
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