NZ Formulary

Ipratropium (for inhalation)


What does it do?

Ipratropium opens narrowed airways in the lungs. It helps to relieve asthma symptoms and breathing problems.

How should you use it?

Inhale ipratropium as directed by your healthcare professional.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and inhale your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, inhale the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not inhale two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Eye pain, changes in vision

Tell your doctor immediately

Fast or irregular heartbeat

Tell your doctor

Trouble peeing


Dry mouth, hoarse voice, unpleasant taste, cough

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have heart, bladder or prostate problems, or glaucoma.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Take care not to get the spray from the ipratropium inhaler or nebuliser into your eyes. If this happens, rinse your eyes thoroughly with water.
  • Some people with asthma may get short of breath after taking certain pain-relieving medicines such as aspirin (e.g. Aspec®), diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren®) or ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen®). Talk to your healthcare professional.
  • If you need to use ipratropium several times each week, your doctor may give you a ‘preventer’ inhaler. Preventers help reduce asthma symptoms and breathing problems.
  • The use of inhalers can sometimes make breathing worse. Discuss this with your healthcare professional.