Combivent Respimat is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults. COPD is a group of lung diseases that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Combivent Respimat is a bronchodilator. This is a type of medication that helps open up breathing passages in your lungs, and you inhale it.

Before your doctor can prescribe Combivent Respimat, you must already be using a bronchodilator in aerosol form. Also, you must be having bronchospasms (tightening of the muscles in your airways) and need a second bronchodilator.

Combivent Respimat contains two drugs. The first is ipratropium, which is a part of a class of drugs called anticholinergics. (A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way.) The second drug is albuterol, which is a part of a class of drugs called beta2-adrenergic agonists.

Combivent Respimat comes as an inhaler. The name of the inhaler device is Respimat.

Effectiveness

In a clinical study, Combivent Respimat worked better than ipratropium alone (one of the ingredients in Combivent Respimat). People who took Combivent Respimat could blow out air more forcefully over one second (known as FEV1) compared to people who took ipratropium.

A typical FEV1 for someone with COPD is about 1.8 liters. An increase in FEV1 shows better airflow in your lungs. In this study, people had an improvement in their FEV1 within four hours of taking one of the drugs. But the FEV1 of people who took Combivent Respimat improved 47 milliliters more than people who took ipratropium alone.

Combivent Respimat is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in generic form.

Combivent Respimat contains two active drug ingredients: ipratropium and albuterol.

Ipratropium and albuterol are available as a generic drug used to treat COPD. However, the generic drug is in a different form than Combivent Respimat, which comes as an inhaler. The generic drug comes as a solution (liquid mixture) that’s used in a device called a nebulizer. The nebulizer turns the drug into a mist that you inhale through a mask or mouthpiece.

The generic drug also comes in a different strength than Combivent Respimat, which contains 20 mcg of ipratropium and 100 mcg of albuterol. The generic drug contains 0.5 mg of ipratropium and 2.5 mg of albuterol.

The Combivent Respimat dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on how severe your chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to suit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Combivent Respimat comes in two pieces:

  • inhaler device
  • cartridge that contains the medication (ipratropium and albuterol)

Before you use the Combivent Respimat device for the first time, you’ll have to put the cartridge into the inhaler. (See the “How to use Combivent Respimat” section below.)

Each inhalation (puff) of medication contains 20 mcg of ipratropium and 100 mcg of albuterol. There are 120 puffs in each cartridge.

Dosage for COPD

The typical dose for COPD is one puff, four times a day. The maximum dose is one puff, six times a day.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Combivent Respimat, wait until it’s time for your next scheduled dose. Then keep taking the drug as usual.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try setting a reminder in your phone. A medication timer may be useful, too.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Combivent Respimat is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that the drug is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

Combivent Respimat can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Combivent Respimat. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Combivent Respimat, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of Combivent Respimat can include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Combivent Respimat aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Paradoxical bronchospasm (wheezing or trouble breathing that gets worse)
  • Eye problems. Symptoms can include:
  • Heart problems. Symptoms can include:
    • faster heart rate
    • chest pain
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium levels). Symptoms can include:
    • fatigue (lack of energy)
    • weakness
    • muscle cramps
    • constipation
    • heart palpitations (feeling of skipped or extra heartbeats)

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug. Here’s some detail on some of the side effects this drug may cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Combivent Respimat. Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth and redness in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

It’s not known how many people have had an allergic reaction after taking Combivent Respimat.

If you have a severe allergic reaction to Combivent Respimat, call your doctor right away. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Colds

Taking Combivent Respimat may cause you to get a cold. A clinical study looked at people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who took Combivent Respimat or ipratropium (an ingredient in Combivent Respimat). In this study, 3% of people who took Combivent Respimat had a cold. Three percent of people who took ipratropium also had a cold.

A cold can also worsen COPD symptoms, such as trouble breathing, wheezing, and coughing. This is because colds can affect your lungs. You can try to prevent a cold with these tips:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Limit contact with anyone who’s sick.
  • Avoid sharing personal items, such as drinking glasses and toothbrushes, with other people.
  • Clean door handles and light switches.

If you develop a cold while taking Combivent Respimat, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you advice on how to manage your cold and COPD symptoms.

Eye problems

Taking Combivent Respimat may cause problems with your eyes, such as new or worsening glaucoma. Glaucoma is an increase in the pressure inside the eye that may lead to eye damage. It’s not known how many people have had eye problems after taking Combivent Respimat.

It’s also possible to spray Combivent Respimat in your eyes by accident when you inhale the drug. If this happens, you may have eye pain or blurry vision. So when using Combivent Respimat, try to avoid spraying the drug in your eyes.

If you’re taking Combivent Respimat and see halos (bright circles around lights), have blurred vision, or notice other eye problems, tell your doctor. Your doctor may stop Combivent or switch you to another medication. Depending on your symptoms, they may treat your eye problem.

Other drugs are available that can treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Some may be better suited for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Combivent Respimat, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are used off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Alternatives for COPD

Examples of other drugs used to treat COPD include:

  • short-acting bronchodilators, such as levoalbuterol (Xopenex)
  • long-acting bronchodilators, such as salmeterol (Serevent)
  • corticosteroids, such as fluticasone (Flovent)
  • two long-acting bronchodilators (in combination), such as tiotropium/olodaterol (Stiolto)
  • a corticosteroid and a long-acting bronchodilator (in combination), such as budesonide/formoterol (Symbicort)
  • phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors, such as roflumilast (Daliresp)
  • methylxanthines, such as theophylline
  • steroids, such as prednisone (Deltasone, Rayos)

Another disease that can make it hard to breathe is asthma, which causes swelling in your airways. Because both COPD and asthma can lead to breathing problems, some asthma medications may be used off-label to treat COPD symptoms. An example of a medication that may be used off-label for COPD is the combination drug mometasone/formoterol (Dulera).

You may wonder how Combivent Respimat compares to other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Combivent Respimat and Symbicort are alike and different.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both Combivent Respimat and Symbicort to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults. COPD is a group of lung diseases that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Before your doctor can prescribe Combivent Respimat, you must be using a bronchodilator in aerosol form. This is a type of medication that helps open up breathing passages in your lungs, and you inhale it. Also, you must still have bronchospasms (tightening of the muscles in your airways) and need a second bronchodilator.

Symbicort is also approved to treat asthma in adults and children ages 6 years and older.

Neither Combivent Respimat nor Symbicort is meant to be used as a rescue medication for COPD for immediate breathing relief.

Drug forms and administration

Combivent Respimat contains the drugs ipratropium and albuterol. Symbicort contains the drugs budesonide and formoterol.

Both Combivent Respimat and Symbicort come in two pieces:

  • inhaler device
  • cartridge (Combivent Respimat) or canister (Symbicort) that contains the medication

Each inhalation (puff) of Combivent Respimat contains 20 mcg of ipratropium and 100 mcg of albuterol. There are 120 puffs in each cartridge.

Each puff of Symbicort contains 160 mcg of budesonide and 4.5 mcg of formoterol to treat COPD. There are 60 or 120 puffs in each canister.

For Combivent Respimat, the typical dose for COPD is one puff, four times a day. The maximum dose is one puff, six times a day.

For Symbicort, the typical dose for COPD is two puffs, two times a day.

Side effects and risks

Combivent Respimat and Symbicort both contain drugs in a similar class of medications. Therefore, both medications can cause very similar side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

More common side effects

These lists contain examples of more common side effects that can occur with Combivent Respimat, with Symbicort, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Combivent Respimat, with Symbicort, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Effectiveness

Combivent Respimat and Symbicort have different FDA-approved uses, but they’re both used to treat COPD.

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies, but studies have found both Combivent Respimat and Symbicort to be effective for treating COPD.

Costs

Combivent Respimat and Symbicort are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug.

However, the FDA has approved ipratropium and albuterol (the active ingredients in Combivent Respimat) as a generic drug used to treat COPD. This drug comes in a different form than Combivent Respimat. The generic drug comes as a solution (liquid mixture) that’s used in a device called a nebulizer. This nebulizer turns the drug into a mist that you inhale through a mask or mouthpiece.

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, Symbicort costs less than Combivent Respimat. The generic drug of ipratropium and albuterol will typically be less expensive than either Combivent Respimat or Symbicort. The actual price you’ll pay for these drugs depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

You may wonder how Combivent Respimat compares to other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Combivent Respimat and Spiriva Respimat are alike and different.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both Combivent Respimat and Spiriva Respimat to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults. COPD is a group of lung diseases that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Before your doctor can prescribe Combivent Respimat, you must be using a bronchodilator in aerosol form. This is a type of medication that helps open up breathing passages in your lungs, and you inhale it. Also, you must still have bronchospasms (tightening of the muscles in your airways) and need a second bronchodilator.

Spiriva Respimat is also approved to treat asthma in adults and children ages 6 years and older.

Neither Combivent Respimat nor Spiriva Respimat is meant to be used as a rescue medication for COPD for immediate breathing relief.

Drug forms and administration

Combivent Respimat contains the drugs ipratropium and albuterol. Spiriva Respimat contains the drug tiotropium.

Both Combivent Respimat and Spiriva Respimat come in two pieces:

  • inhaler device
  • cartridge that contains the medication

Each inhalation (puff) of Combivent Respimat contains 20 mcg of ipratropium and 100 mcg of albuterol. There are 120 puffs in each cartridge.

Each puff of Spiriva Respimat contains 2.5 mcg of tiotropium to treat COPD. Cartridges come with 60 puffs in them.

For Combivent Respimat, the typical dose for COPD is one puff, four times a day. The maximum dose is one puff, six times a day.

For Spiriva Respimat, the typical dose for COPD is two puffs, once a day.

Side effects and risks

Combivent Respimat and Spiriva Respimat both contain medications in a similar drug class. Therefore, both medications can cause very similar side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

More common side effects

These lists contain examples of more common side effects that can occur with Combivent Respimat, with Spiriva, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Combivent Respimat, with Spiriva, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Effectiveness

Combivent Respimat and Spiriva Respimat have some different FDA-approved uses, but the two drugs are both used to treat COPD.

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies, but studies have found both Combivent Respimat and Spiriva Respimat to be effective for treating COPD.

Costs

Combivent Respimat and Spiriva Respimat are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug.

However, the FDA has approved ipratropium and albuterol (the active ingredients in Combivent Respimat) as a generic drug used to treat COPD. This drug comes in a different form than Combivent Respimat. The generic drug comes as a solution (liquid mixture) that’s used in a device called a nebulizer. This nebulizer turns the drug into a mist that you inhale through a mask or mouthpiece.

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, Combivent Respimat and Spiriva generally cost about the same. The generic drug of ipratropium and albuterol will typically be less expensive than either Combivent Respimat or Spiriva. The actual price you’ll pay for these drugs depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Combivent Respimat to treat certain conditions. Combivent Respimat may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Combivent Respimat for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

The FDA has approved Combivent Respimat to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults. COPD is a group of lung diseases that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Chronic bronchitis causes the air tubes in your lungs narrow, swell, and collect mucus. This makes it difficult for air to pass through your lungs.

Emphysema destroys the air sacs in your lungs over time. With fewer air sacs, it becomes harder to breathe.

Both chronic bronchitis and emphysema lead to trouble breathing, and it’s common to have both conditions.

Before your doctor can prescribe Combivent Respimat, you must be using a bronchodilator in aerosol form. This is a type of medication that helps open up breathing passages in your lungs, and you inhale it. Also, you must still have bronchospasms (tightening of the muscles in your airways) and need a second bronchodilator.

Effectiveness

In a clinical study, Combivent Respimat worked better than ipratropium alone (one of the ingredients in Combivent Respimat). People who took Combivent Respimat could blow out air more forcefully over one second (known as FEV1) compared to people who took ipratropium.

A typical FEV1 for someone with COPD is about 1.8 liters. An increase in FEV1 shows better airflow in your lungs. In this study, people had an improvement in their FEV1 within four hours of taking one of the drugs. But the FEV1 of people who took Combivent Respimat improved 47 milliliters more than the FEV1 of people who took ipratropium alone.

Off-label use for Combivent Respimat

In addition to the use listed above, Combivent Respimat may be used off-label for other uses. Off-label drug use is when a drug that’s approved for one use is used for a different one that’s not approved.

Combivent Respimat for asthma

The FDA hasn’t approved Combivent Respimat to treat asthma attacks. However, your doctor may prescribe the drug off-label if other approved treatments haven’t worked for you. Asthma is a lung condition in which your airways tighten, swell, and fill with mucus. This leads to wheezing and makes it hard to breathe.

Combivent Respimat is used along with other chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) medications to treat COPD. If your current COPD medication isn’t easing your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe Combivent Respimat as an additional drug.

Examples of bronchodilator medications that may be used with Combivent Respimat include:

  • short-acting bronchodilators, such as levoalbuterol (Xopenex)
  • long-acting bronchodilators, such as salmeterol (Serevent)

These medications may contain similar ingredients to those in Combivent Respimat. So taking these with Combivent Respimat may make your side effects more severe. (Please see the “Combivent Respimat side effects” section above for more details.) Your doctor may monitor your side effects or switch you to another COPD medication if needed.

You should take Combivent Respimat according to your doctor or healthcare provider’s instructions.

Combivent Respimat comes in two pieces:

  • inhaler device
  • cartridge that contains the medication

You’ll take Combivent Respimat by inhaling it. To learn how to prepare your inhaler and use it each day, watch these videos on the Combivent Respimat website. You can also follow step-by-step instructions and photos from this website.

When to take

The typical dose is one inhaled puff, four times a day. The maximum dose is one inhaled puff, six times a day. A Combivent Respimat dose should last for at least four to five hours. To avoid waking up at night to take a dose, space your doses during the day when you’re awake.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, put a reminder on your phone. You can also get a medication timer.

As with all medications, the cost of Combivent Respimat can vary. To find current prices for Combivent Respimat in your area, check out GoodRx.com:

The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Combivent Respimat, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc, the manufacturer of Combivent Respimat, offers a savings card that may help lower the cost of your prescription. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 800-867-1052 or visit the program website.

At this time, alcohol isn’t known to interact with Combivent Respimat. However, drinking alcohol on a regular basis may lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). When you drink heavily, your lungs have a harder time keeping your airways clear.

If you have questions about drinking alcohol and taking Combivent Respimat, talk with your doctor.

Combivent Respimat can interact with several other medications. It can also interact with certain supplements as well as certain foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase the number of side effects or make them more severe.

Combivent Respimat and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Combivent Respimat. This list doesn’t contain all drugs that may interact with Combivent Respimat.

Before taking Combivent Respimat, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Combivent Respimat and other anticholinergics and/or beta2‑adrenergic agonists

Taking Combivent Respimat with other anticholinergics and/or beta2‑adrenergic agonists can make your side effects more severe. (Please see the “Combivent Respimat side effects” section above for more details.)

Examples of other anticholinergics and beta2‑adrenergic agonists include:

Before you take Combivent Respimat, tell your doctor if you’re taking any of these drugs. They may monitor you during your Combivent Respimat treatment or switch you to a different medication.

Combivent Respimat and certain high blood pressure medications

Taking Combivent Respimat with certain high blood pressure medications may lower the levels of potassium in your body or prevent Combivent Respimat from working properly.

Examples of blood pressure medications that may interact with Combivent Respimat include:

Before you take Combivent Respimat, tell your doctor if you’re taking any of these drugs. They may switch you to a different blood pressure or COPD medication, or monitor your potassium levels.

Combivent Respimat and certain antidepressant medications

Taking Combivent Respimat with certain antidepressant medications can make your side effects more severe. (Please see the “Combivent Respimat side effects” section above for more details.)

Examples of antidepressants that may interact with Combivent Respimat include:

Before you take Combivent Respimat, tell your doctor if you’re taking any of these drugs. They may switch you to a different antidepressant at least two weeks before you start taking Combivent Respimat. Your doctor may also have you take a different COPD medication.

Combivent Respimat and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that are known to interact with Combivent Respimat. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any herbs or supplements while taking Combivent Respimat.

Using more than the recommended dosage of Combivent Respimat can lead to serious side effects.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

  • chest pain
  • faster heart rate
  • high blood pressure
  • stronger versions of the usual side effects (Please see the “Combivent Respimat side effects” section above for more details.)

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of lung diseases that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Chronic bronchitis causes the air tubes in your lungs narrow, swell, and collect mucus. This makes it difficult for air to pass through your lungs.

Emphysema destroys the air sacs in your lungs over time. With fewer air sacs, it becomes harder to breathe.

Both chronic bronchitis and emphysema lead to trouble breathing, and it’s common to have both conditions.

The active drugs in Combivent Respimat, ipratropium and albuterol, work in different ways. Both drugs relax muscles in your airways. Ipratropium belongs to a class of drugs called anticholinergics. (A drug class is a group of medications that work in a similar way.) The drugs in this class help prevent the muscles in your lungs from tightening.

Albuterol belongs to a class of drugs called short-acting beta2-agonists (SABAs). The drugs in this class help relax the muscles in your lungs. Albuterol also helps drain mucus from your airways. These actions help open your airways to make breathing easier.

How long does it take to work?

After you take a dose of Combivent Respimat, the drug should start to work in about 15 minutes. Once the drug starts working, you may start to notice that it’s easier to breathe.

There isn’t enough data to know if it’s safe to take Combivent Respimat while pregnant. However, an ingredient in Combivent Respimat called albuterol has been shown to harm babies in animal studies. Keep in mind that animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

If you’re pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about the benefits and risks of using this medication while pregnant.

It’s not known if Combivent Respimat is safe to take during pregnancy. If you or your sexual partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Combivent Respimat.

There isn’t enough data to know if it’s safe to use Combivent Respimat while breastfeeding.

Combivent Respimat contains an ingredient called ipratropium, and part of ipratropium passes into breast milk. But it’s not known how this affects children who breastfeed.

Another ingredient in Combivent Respimat called albuterol has been shown to harm babies in animal studies. However, animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

If you’re breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about the benefits and risks of using this medication while breastfeeding.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Combivent Respimat.

Will I still need to use my regular rescue inhaler with Combivent Respimat?

You might. A rescue inhaler is a device you use only when you have trouble breathing and need relief right away. Combivent Respimat, on the other hand, is a drug you take on a regular basis to help you continue to breathe well. But there may be times when you have breathing problems, so you may still need a rescue inhaler.

Talk with your doctor about how often you use your rescue inhaler. If you use it too often, your COPD treatment plan may have to be adjusted.

Is Combivent Respimat better than albuterol treatment alone?

It might be, according to a clinical study of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The people took a combination of ipratropium and albuterol (the active drugs in Combivent Respimat), ipratropium alone, or albuterol alone.

The study found that the combination of ipratropium and albuterol kept airways open longer than albuterol did alone. People who took the combination of drugs had opened airways for four to five hours. This was compared to three hours for people who took just albuterol.

Note: In this study, people who took the combination of ipratropium and albuterol used a different inhalation device than the Combivent Respimat device.

If you have questions about albuterol or other COPD treatments, talk with your doctor.

Are there any vaccines I can get to lower my risk for COPD flare-ups?

Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people with COPD get flu, pneumonia, and Tdap vaccines. Getting these vaccines may help lower your risk for COPD flare-ups.

This is because lung infections such as the flu, pneumonia, and whooping cough can make COPD worse. And having COPD can worsen flu, pneumonia, and whooping cough.

You may need other vaccines, too, so ask your doctor if you’re up-to-date on all your shots.

How is Combivent Respimat different from DuoNeb?

Combivent Respimat and DuoNeb were both approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat COPD. However, DuoNeb is no longer available on the market. DuoNeb now comes in a generic form as ipratropium/albuterol.

Both Combivent Respimat and ipratropium/albuterol contain ipratropium and albuterol, but the medications come in different forms. Combivent Respimat comes as a device called an inhaler. You inhale the drug as a pressured spray (aerosol) through the inhaler. Ipratropium/albuterol comes as a solution (liquid mixture) that’s used in a device called a nebulizer. This device turns the drug into a mist that you inhale through a mask or mouthpiece.

If you have questions about Combivent Respimat, ipratropium/albuterol, or other COPD treatments, talk with your doctor.

Before taking Combivent Respimat, talk with your doctor about your health history. Combivent Respimat may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Allergic reactions. If you’re allergic toCombivent Respimat, any of its ingredients, or the drug atropine, you shouldn’t take Combivent Respimat. (Atropine is a drug that’s chemically similar to one of the ingredients in Combivent Respimat.) If you’re not sure whether you’re allergic to any of these drugs, talk with your doctor. They can recommend a different treatment if needed.
  • Certain heart conditions. Combivent Respimat may cause heart problems if you have certain heart conditions. These include an arrhythmia, high blood pressure, or coronary insufficiency (reduced blood flow to the heart). The drug may cause changes in blood pressure, pulse rate, and heart rhythm. If you have a heart condition, ask your doctor if Combivent Respimat is right for you.
  • Narrow-angle glaucoma. Combivent Respimat may increase pressure in the eyes, which can lead to new or worsening narrow-angle glaucoma. If you have this form of glaucoma, your doctor will monitor you during your Combivent Respimat treatment.
  • Certain urinary problems. Combivent Respimat may cause urinary retention, a condition in which your bladder doesn’t empty completely. If you have certain urinary problems such as an enlarged prostate or bladder-neck obstruction, ask your doctor if Combivent Respimat is right for you.
  • Seizure disorders. Albuterol, one of the drugs in Combivent Respimat, may worsen seizure disorders. If you have a seizure disorder, ask your doctor if Combivent Respimat is right for you.
  • Hyperthyroidism. Albuterol, one of the drugs in Combivent Respimat, may worsen hyperthyroidism (high thyroid levels). If you have hyperthyroidism, ask your doctor if Combivent Respimat is right for you.
  • Diabetes. Albuterol, one of the drugs in Combivent Respimat, may worsen diabetes. If you have diabetes, ask your doctor if Combivent Respimat is right for you.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s unknown if Combivent Respimat is harmful during pregnancy and breastfeeding. For more information, please see the “Combivent Respimat and pregnancy” and “Combivent Respimat and breastfeeding” sections above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Combivent Respimat, see the “Combivent Respimat side effects” section above.

When you get Combivent Respimat from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically one year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee the effectiveness of the medication during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk to your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Once you insert the medication cartridge into the inhaler, throw away any Combivent Respimat that remains after three months. This applies whether or not you’ve taken any of the drug.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

You should store Combivent Respimat at room temperature. Don’t freeze the drug.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take Combivent Respimat and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

The FDA website provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information on how to dispose of your medication.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

Combivent Respimat is indicated as add-on therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) when a patient does not have an adequate response (continued bronchospasms) to their current bronchodilator.

Mechanism of action

Combivent Respimat is a bronchodilator that contains ipratropium bromide (anticholinergic) and albuterol sulfate (beta2-adrenergic agonist). When combined, they provide a stronger bronchodilation effect by expanding bronchi and relaxing muscles than when used alone.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

The half-life of ipratropium bromide after inhalation or intravenous administration is approximately two hours. Albuterol sulfate’s half-life is two to six hours after inhalation and 3.9 hours after IV administration.

Contraindications

Combivent Respimat is contraindicated in patients who have experienced hypersensitivity reactions to:

  • ipratropium, albuterol, or any other ingredient in Combivent Respimat
  • atropine or anything derived from atropine

Storage

Combivent Respimat should be stored at 77°F (25°C), but 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C) is acceptable. Do not freeze.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.