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Generic Name: ipratropium inhalation (IP ra TRO pee um)
Brand Names: Atrovent HFA, Atrovent
  • Prescription Settings

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Drug Information:
Atrovent (ipratropium) is a bronchodilator that relaxes muscles in the airways and increases air flow to the lungs. Atrovent is used to to prevent bronchospasm, or narrowing airways in the lungs, in people with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Atrovent HFA may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Do not get Atrovent HFA in your eyes, especially if you have glaucoma. Atrovent HFA will not work fast enough to treat an bronchospasm attack that has already begun. It is used for prevention of an attack only. Use only a fast acting inhalation medicine to treat an bronchospasm attack. Learn more

Atrovent Side Effects

Atrovent HFA Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about ipratropium. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Atrovent HFA.

For the Consumer

Applies to ipratropium: inhalation solution

Along with its needed effects, ipratropium (the active ingredient contained in Atrovent HFA) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking ipratropium:

More common

  • Bladder pain
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • cough producing mucus
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • difficulty with breathing
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • lower back or side pain
  • shortness of breath
  • tightness in the chest
  • wheezing

Less common

  • Body aches or pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • ear congestion
  • fever
  • headache
  • loss of voice
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • unusual tiredness or weakness


  • Constipation (continuing) or lower abdominal pain or bloating
  • fainting
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • severe eye pain
  • skin rash or hives
  • swelling of the face, lips, or eyelids

Incidence not known

  • Blindness
  • blurred vision
  • confusion
  • decrease in the frequency of urination
  • decrease in the urine volume
  • decreased vision
  • difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • hives or welts
  • itching
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • nausea or vomiting
  • noisy breathing
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • redness of the skin
  • redness of the white part of the eyes or inside of the eyelids
  • sweating
  • tearing

Some side effects of ipratropium may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Back pain
  • dryness of the mouth
  • unpleasant taste

Less common or rare

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • burning eyes
  • diarrhea
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle aches and pains
  • nervousness
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • shivering
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • trembling
  • trouble sleeping

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to ipratropium: compounding powder, inhalation aerosol, inhalation solution


The most common adverse reactions were bronchitis, COPD exacerbation, dyspnea, headache, throat irritation, cough, dry mouth, gastro-intestinal motility disorders (including constipation, diarrhea and vomiting), nausea, and dizziness.


Very common (10% or more): Bronchitis (up to 14.6%), upper respiratory tract infection (up to 13.2%)

Common (1% to 10%): Chest pain, cough, dyspnea, bronchospasm, sputum increased, pharyngitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, throat irritation

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Paradoxical bronchospasm, laryngospasm, pharyngeal edema, dry throat


Common (1% to 10%): Mouth dryness, nausea, gastrointestinal motility disorder, dyspepsia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Constipation, diarrhea, taste perversion, vomiting, stomatitis

Frequency not reported: Mouth edema


Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Urinary retention


Common (1% to 10%): Back pain

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Arthritis

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache, dizziness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Tremor, nervousness


Common (1% to 10%): Influenza-like symptoms, pain


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypertension, palpitations, supraventricular tachycardia

Rare (less than 0.1%): Atrial fibrillation, rate increased

Frequency not reported: Hypotension, palpitation, tachycardia


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Rash, pruritus

Rare (less than 0.1%): Urticaria


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypersensitivity, anaphylactic reactions, angioedema of tongue, lips, face

Frequency not reported: Urticaria (including giant urticaria), laryngospasm


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Blurred vision, mydriasis, intraocular pressure increased, glaucoma, eye pain, halo vision, conjunctival hyperemia, corneal edema

Rare (less than 0.1%): Accommodation disorder

Frequency not reported: Precipitation or worsening of narrow-angle glaucoma, acute eye pain

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Atrovent