Ipratropium is used to treat obstructive airway diseases such as bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  It is also used to treat intra- and post-operative bronchospasm.  


What is Ipratropium?

Ipratropium is an antimuscarinic drug with peripheral effects similar to those of atropine. Assumed through inhalation, ipratropium is able to bind to specific muscarinic receptors expressed by bronchial muscles and inhibit the effect of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine acts as a bronchodilator and improves the functionality of the upper airways.


How should Ipratropium be taken?

Ipratropium is assumed through inhalation, usually in the form of aerosols.


Side effects associated with Ipratropium

Basic treatment with ipratropium is generally well tolerated. The low systemic absorption of the active ingredient makes it a very safe therapy and limits the risk of potential side effects. However, possible rare side effects of this drug include the following:


  • Dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • Dizziness
  • Heart rhythm disorders
  • Constipation
  • Urinary retention (spontaneously regressed once therapy is suspended)


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Ipratropium

The use of Ipratropium is contraindicated in individuals with hypersensitivity to the active substance and in patients with glaucoma, prostatic hypertrophy, intestinal obstruction, and various urinary retention syndromes.


Given the lack of studies on the safety profile of ipratropium on the health of fetuses and infants, it is currently preferable to avoid the use of this drug during pregnancy and lactation. In cases of extreme need, the drug should always be monitored under close supervision.