Combivent is the generic name for a combination formula of two drugs, albuterol sulphate and ipratropium bromide, used to treat COPD and chronic bronchitis. It is commonly prescribed where patients using albuterol continue to experience serious breathing difficulties.
Both drugs are classified as bronchodilators, that is they work by opening the breathing passages (bronchioles) and relaxing muscles in the bronchiole walls.
How is Combivent Used?
Combivent is normally administered from a metered dose inhaler (MDI), an inhaler device which delivers a specific dose of the combivent solution in an aerosol form.
It is important to read and adhere to the patient information leaflet enclosed with the device before it is used.
The inhaler must be shaken before using and is then inhaled orally. Dosage is usually 4 times a day but your doctor may prescribe a specific dosage for your personal situation. Should you experience breathing problems between the regular timed doses further doses can be taken but it is recommended that the maximum number of doses per day do not exceed 12 per 24hrs due to the possibility of harmful side effects.
Combivent should be used as part of a regular schedule to achieve greatest benefit however if a timed dose is missed it is very important NOT TO TAKE A DOUBLE DOSE.
The number of inhalations used should be recorded and the inhaler discarded after the labelled number of inhalations on the packet has been reached. Any test sprays should be included in the total.
Combivent Side Effects
The side effects of Combivent may vary from none, through slight headache to chest pains and have been reported by approximately 1% of users, although many of the milder side effects may go unreported.
A full list of known side effects are:
change in taste sensation
Combivent can cause serious allergic reactions. If the following reactions are experienced you should stop taking the medication and seek urgent medical advice:blurred visionchest pains or tightnesspainful urinationswelling of the face, lips, eyelids, mouth, or throatpalpitations or irregular heartbeatshortness of breath or wheezingskin rashes or hivesswelling of the face, lips, eyelids, mouth, or throat
Deaths are know to have occurred with similar inhaled medications in asthma patients who use the inhaler too much. Do not use a combivent inhaler more often than your healthcare provider has directed.
Combivent Contra Indications
Combivent is known to be affected by other medications and your doctor should be informed if you are taking any of the following drugs:
Diuretics (water tablets)
Anticholinergic medications such as atropine, belladonna, scopolamine, clozapine,hyoscyamine and many others.
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
Combivent aerosol is contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to soya lecithin or related foods such as soybean and peanuts. You should also inform your doctor of any other supplements you may be taking including vitamins and herbal preparations.
It is important to avoid getting combivent in the eyes. If contamination does occur, flush with copious amounts of water and seek medical attention.
The above article is provided for general information only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice. If you have symptoms which give cause for concern always seek qualified professional advice.