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Ipratropium helps keep the tubes in the lungs (bronchial tubes) from narrowing.
Anticholinergics begin to work within 15 minutes. They work best after 1 to 2 hours, usually last 3 to 4 hours, and sometimes last up to 6 hours. Anticholinergic medicines can be taken by using an inhaler or a nebulizer.
Anticholinergics are sometimes used along with bronchodilators to improve breathing when inflammation or lots of mucus in the lungs makes it hard to breathe.
Anticholinergics do not work for all people who have cystic fibrosis. More research is needed to know just how well they work for people who have cystic fibrosis.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Side effects are rare with inhaled ipratropium but can include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
If you have the eye disease glaucoma, talk with an eye doctor before you start taking anticholinergics. People who have glaucoma may need to be watched more closely while they are taking these medicines.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.