Combivent Inhaler and/or Equivalents
|Drug||Related Drug Names|
|Combivent Inhaler 20mcg/100mcg and/or Equivalents||Albuterol, Duolin HFA|
Combivent Inhaler (salbutamol/ipratropium)
Combivent Inhaler Description
The Combivent inhaler, used for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, is very effective and hence is very widely prescribed. It is marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim, and is an aerosol inhaler. Combivent is the trade name of a combination of ipratropium bromide and albuterol sulfate (also known as salbutamol). Ipratropium acts as the monohydrate in this case. The effect of Combivent has seen to be higher than of its individual components.
The two compounds are present in the aerosol in the form of a microcrystalline suspension. The aerosol is orally administered. Each unit can be used for 200 inhalations. The dosage depends on the frequency and the intensity of the attacks. However, it is usually taken four times a day.
Conditions Treated by Combivent Inhaler
Combivent is used for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. COPD and asthma are diseases, which are related to the respiratory airways. In both the conditions, the airways become obstructed. This obstruction leads to a limited amount of airflow during respiration leading to shortness of breath. Both diseases have debilitating effects.
The two components of the drug act via different mechanisms to treat the two medical conditions. Ipratropium blocks the interaction of acetylcholine with receptors on the bronchial muscles. This causes reduced contraction of the muscles. Consequently, there is a reduction in the constriction of the airways leading to increased airflow. Salbutamol has a preferential binding to beta2-adrenergic-receptors on muscles. Binding of salbutamol to these receptors leads to smooth muscle relaxation. This leads to dilation of the passages. The bronchial muscles have been shown to respond better to salbutamol, when compared to ipratropium. However, due to the presence of the bet-adrenergic –receptors in the cardiac muscles of the heart, salbutamol can have some cardiovascular side effects.
Combivent Inhaler Dosage Information
a.) Typical Dosage Recommendations
The recommended dosage of Combivent for treatment of COPD and asthma is two puffs four times a day. Additional doses may be taken as required. The additional doses may vary for each patient. However, you must ensure that the total number of inhalations that you take does not exceed 12 in a period of 24 hours. Avoid overdosing.
b.) Missing A Dose
In case you miss a dose, then you must have the medication immediately on remembering. However, if it is time for your next dose, then you may skip your missed dose and then move on to the next dose as per schedule. Never overdose, just because you missed a dose. Medicines do not work that way. Medicines have to be taken at the right time and in the right doses for maximum effect.
Taking an overdose of Combivent can have serious complications. These may be primarily due to the excess accumulation of salbutamol in the body. Ipratropium overdosage does not occur usually because it is very poorly absorbed by the body. The symptoms of overdosing may include chest pains, hypertension, increase in heart rate, nausea, sweating etc. Overdosing may also lead to cardiac arrest and death. You must seek medical attention immediately in case such an event occurs.
Combivent Inhaler Warnings
The inhalation aerosol should not be sprayed into the eyes. If you have any eye-conditions such as narrow-angle glaucoma etc. then it may worsen. In addition, if you find that over a period, if the effectiveness of the medicine decreases or if you have to use the medicine more frequently, then you must consult your doctor. Use of Combivent may cause dizziness, blurred vision and other such disorders, which may affect your balance and vision, you must be cautious while engaging in activities such as driving etc.
Combivent is used for treating bronchospasms. However, in some cases, it may worsen the situation. This action is exactly the opposite of what it is intended to do. In case this occurs, the treatment must be immediately discontinued. You should speak to your healthcare provider in case such a reaction occurs. One thing that must be kept in mind is that such reactions do occur if you are a first time user.
Fatalities due to overdosing have been reported. Although the exact cause is unknown, it is suspected that the death may be due to cardiac arrest followed by an asthma attack and subsequent hypoxia.
The storage conditions of the Inhaler unit are very important. The aerosol is stored under pressure. Therefore, you must not puncture the unit. Prevent storing it near a source of heat or an open flame. Keep out of reach of children.
Combivent Inhaler Side Effects
Salbutamol is a beta-adrenergic-blocker. As mentioned before, the beta-adrenergic-receptors are also present in the cardiac muscles. Therefore, in some cases, cardiovascular complications may arise due to the use of Combivent Inhaler. This can be seen by a change in the pulse rate and the blood pressure. It is advisable to discuss the medication if this occurs. Reports of myocardial ischemia due to salbutamol have been received. Therefore, if you are a patient with cardiovascular disorder, this medication must be used with caution and only after consulting your physician.
Hypersensitivity reactions following inhalation of the drugs have been reported in some cases. The symptoms may include rashes, bronchospasms etc.
Possible Drug Interactions Combivent Inhaler
Combivent has been used with other drugs used to treat COPD. However, no studies have been conducted on the interaction of Combivent Aerosol with these drugs. The two components of the Combivent and their nature are known. Therefore, the following drug interactions are believed to be possible.
The Ipratropium in Combivent is anticholinergic in nature. Therefore, it can have an additive affect with other anticholinergic drugs such as Atropie and Belladonna. Similarly, beta-adrenergic agents too can have an additive effect due to the presence of salbutamol. At the same time, beta-receptor blocking agents have an antagonistic activity.
Combivent can also interact with diuretics such as bumetanide (Bumex), hydrochlorothiazide (Hydrodiuril) etc. and can cause ECG changes etc. therefore it is advisable to exercise caution when administering non-potassium sparing diuretics along with Combivent Inhalation Aerosols.
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Notice: The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.