Ipratropium (as ipratropium bromide, trade name Atrovent) is an anticholinergic drug.


It is administered by inhalation for the treatment of obstructive lung diseases.

Ipratropium is also combined with albuterol (salbutamol) (trade names Combivent and Duoneb) for the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.

Ipratropium is also combined with fenoterol (trade names Duovent and Berodual N) for the management of asthma.


It acts by blocking muscarinic receptors in the lung, inhibiting bronchoconstriction and mucus secretion. It is a non-selective muscarinic antagonist, and does not diffuse into the blood, which prevents systemic side effects. Ipratropium is a derivative of atropine but is a quaternary amine and therefore does not cross the blood-brain barrier, which prevents central side effects (anticholinergic syndrome). Ipratropium is considered a short-acting bronchodilator.

Side effects

If ipratropium is inhaled, side effects resembling other anticholinergics are minimal. However, dry mouth and sedation have been reported.


  • Brenner, G. M. (2000). Pharmacology. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders Company. ISBN 0-7216-7757-6
  • Canadian Pharmacists Association (2000). Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (25th ed.). Toronto, ON: Webcom. ISBN 0-919115-76-4
  • Boehringer Ingelheim


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