Atrovent HFA is an environmentally friendly inhaler that is prescribed to prevent airway spasms caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The medication is typically used four times a day and causes the muscles around the airways to relax, which opens them. Some side effects that may occur with its use include upper respiratory tract infections, sinus infections, and bladder infections.
Unlike older inhalers (including the old Atrovent inhaler, which is no longer available), Atrovent HFA uses an environmentally friendly hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) propellant, a substance that does not deplete the ozone layer.
Atrovent HFA is made by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.
How Does Atrovent HFA Work?
Atrovent HFA belongs to a group of medications known as anticholinergics or antimuscarinics. By binding to specific receptors in the airway, called muscarinic receptors, this drug helps to relax the smooth muscle of the airway, which makes breathing easier.
Atrovent HFA was studied for the treatment of COPD. People taking it showed improved lung function, compared to those not using the drug. In addition, these studies showed that the new Atrovent HFA formulation worked just as well as the older, non-HFA Atrovent inhaler. Improvement in lung function was seen within 15 minutes after a dose, and it lasted for about two to four hours.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 2, 2010.
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