Combivent

Generic Name: Albuterol

  • What is Combivent?

    Combivent is a combination medication prescribed for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (narrowing of the lungs that makes it hard to breath) who are already taking one airway-opening medication and need another to control their condition.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Combivent?

    Overuse of this product can be fatal. Do not increase the dose or frequency without your doctor's approval. If you find that Combivent is becoming less effective, if your symptoms are getting worse, or if you need to use Combivent more than usual, see your doctor right away.

    Combivent can cause the narrowing of the airways to get worse in some patients, which may be life-threatening. Stop taking Combivent and call your doctor or get emergency help if this happens.

    Combivent can cause serious allergic reactions. Symptoms include itching, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat (which may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing), skin rash, hives, bronchospasm (airway narrowing), or anaphylaxis (a serious and rapid allergic reaction that may result in death if not immediately treated). Stop taking Combivent and notify your doctor or get emergency help if you get any of these symptoms.

    Combivent can cause serious heart-related side effects, such as an increase in pulse or blood pressure.

  • Who should not take Combivent?

    Do not use Combivent if you are allergic to soy lecithin or related products, such as soybeans and peanuts. Do not use Combivent if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in this product or if you are allergic to atropine or other similar drugs.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Combivent?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Combivent. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have narrow-angle glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), urinary problems, heart problems, seizures, thyroid problems, high blood sugar (diabetes), low potassium levels in your blood, and kidney or liver disease.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The usual dosage is 2 inhalations four times a day. You can take additional inhalations as required, up to a total of 12 inhalations every 24 hours.

  • How should I take Combivent?

    Do not use near an open flame.

    Remove the orange protective cap from the mouthpiece and shake the canister vigorously for at least 10 seconds before use. If you are starting a new canister, or if more than 24 hours have passed since your last dose, test-spray the canister three times. For best results, make sure the canister is at room temperature.

    Exhale deeply through your mouth, then close your lips around the mouthpiece. Keep your eyes closed to protect them against an accidental spray. Inhale slowly through the mouth, and at the same time press down once on the canister's base. Hold your breath for 10 seconds, then remove the mouthpiece from your lips and exhale slowly. Wait 2 minutes, shake the canister again, and repeat.

    Wash the mouthpiece with soap and hot water. Rinse it and dry thoroughly. Keep the mouthpiece capped when not in use. Count the number of sprays and discard each canister after 200 sprays. Canisters may fail to deliver the proper dose if used for more than that amount.

  • What should I avoid while taking Combivent?

    Avoid taking other inhaled medications unless instructed by your doctor.

    Avoid contact with your eyes because it can cause eye pain or discomfort, blurred vision, colored images, or high pressure in the eye.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Combivent?

    If Combivent is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Combivent with any of the following: airway-opening drugs such as albuterol, fluticasone/salmeterol, levalbuterol, and terbutaline; antispasmotics; beta-blocker blood pressure medications; certain antidepressant medications; and water pills (diuretics) such as furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide.

  • What are the possible side effects of Combivent?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: bronchitis (inflammation of the air passages within the lungs), coughing, headache, shortness of breath, upper respiratory tract infection

  • Can I receive Combivent if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Combivent during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Talk with your doctor before taking this drug if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Combivent?

    Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Combivent?

    Store at room temperature, and protect from heat and high humidity.

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I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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