Atrovent comes in a variety of forms and is commonly prescribed to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or a runny nose. When treating COPD, it binds to certain receptors in the airway to relax the muscle and allow more air into and out of the lungs. Atrovent can help relieve a runny nose by decreasing the fluid production in the nasal passages. The medication is available as an inhaler, an inhalation solution, and as a nasal spray.
Atrovent® (ipratropium bromide) is a prescription medication used to treat a variety of conditions. It comes in the following forms:
- Atrovent HFA inhaler, for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (see Atrovent HFA Uses)
- Atrovent inhalation solution (used in a nebulizer), for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (see Atrovent Inhalation Solution Uses)
- Atrovent nasal spray, for the treatment of a runny nose (see Atrovent Nasal Spray Uses).
All of the Atrovent products are made by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, although brand-name Atrovent inhalation solution is no longer manufactured (it is still available in generic form). There are several manufacturers of generic Atrovent products.
Atrovent belongs to a group of medications known as anticholinergics or antimuscarinics. When used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it works by binding to specific receptors (called muscarinic receptors) in the airway, helping to relax the smooth muscle of the airway. When used to treat a runny nose, it works by decreasing the production of fluid in the glands that line the nasal passages.