COPD Home > More Details on Atrovent HFA
When and How to Take Atrovent HFAGeneral considerations for when and how to take Atrovent HFA include the following:
- The medication comes in a metered-dose inhaler (called an "MDI"). It is usually taken four times a day.
- You should prime each inhaler before your first use of it, or if you have not used it for more than three days. To prime the inhaler, spray it into the air twice by pressing on the top of the canister.
- Unlike most other inhalers, Atrovent HFA does not need to be shaken.
- It is important that you learn exactly how to use your inhaler. It may be difficult at first and require some practice.
- The spray should be inhaled into the lungs, not sprayed onto the back of the throat and swallowed. To accomplish this, you will need to breathe in while spraying the inhaler.
- Most people put the mouthpiece of the inhaler directly into their mouths. However, many healthcare professionals now recommend placing the inhaler an inch or two away from the mouth. Talk to your doctor about the best way for you to use the inhaler. If you have difficulty using it, you may find a spacer helpful, a device that makes it easier to use the inhaler.
- Each inhaler contains 200 sprays. When the dose counter on the mouthpiece counts down to "0" doses, discard the inhaler, even if it feels like there is a little medication left, as accurate dosing cannot be assured after 200 doses.
- For Atrovent HFA to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. The drug will not work if you stop taking it.