What Is Ipratropium and Albuterol Solution Used For?
While ipratropium and albuterol solution is approved for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the medication can also be used in an "off-label" fashion to treat asthma. It works by relaxing the muscles surrounding the airways, allowing more air into and through the lungs. Ipratropium and albuterol solution uses in children younger than 18 years old have not been approved.
What Is Ipratropium and Albuterol Solution Used For? -- An OverviewIpratropium and albuterol solution (DuoNeb®) is a prescription medication used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It contains two different medications that work together to keep the airways open.
COPD is a disease in which the lungs are damaged, leading to breathing problems. In COPD, the airways (the tubes that carry air into and out of the lungs) are partly obstructed, making it difficult to breathe. There are different kinds of COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. While smoking is the most common cause, there are other possible causes of COPD. Common COPD symptoms may include:
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath, especially with exercise
- Wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe)
- Sputum (mucus) production
Depending on the severity of your COPD, your healthcare provider may recommend a number of medications as part of your COPD treatment, including:
- Bronchodilator medications (such as the two medications in ipratropium and albuterol solution)
- Steroids (such as inhaled steroids)
- A pneumococcal vaccine
- A yearly flu shot.
Lifestyle changes are also recommended (see Living With COPD and COPD Rehabilitation). Ipratropium and albuterol solution is a bronchodilator, which means that it helps open up the airways. The medication is approved for use in people who need two bronchodilator medications to control their COPD symptoms. Ipratropium and albuterol solution is inhaled using a device called a nebulizer (which must be purchased or rented).