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What is the difference between Albuterol and Ipratropium?

What is the difference between Albuterol and Ipratropium – for my nebulizer?

Trying to find out the difference in Albuterol Sulfate and Ipratropium Bromide in my nebulizer medications. What actions does each provide?

Community Answers
  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi HOPS – I see that Lynn has provided an excellent reply to your inquiry about the difference between Albuterol and Ipratropium.
    I also thought, if you wanted to read a bit more about the medications you might find the following to be helpful.
    First, this article on Albuterol:
    And next, this article which provides an overview of bronchodilators:

    I hope you find these to be helpful as well.
    All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Great question HOPS –

    Albuterol is a fast-acting bronchodilator. It’s the drug of choice for opening up the airways. It’s in a drug class known as beta2- agonist.

    Ipratropium bromide is in a class known as anticholinergics. This class of drugs are also effective at dilating airways, but it does it by a different means than albuterol. It tends to have fewer side effects – such as the tremors and increased heart rate that albuterol produces.

    Since they work differently in relaxing smooth muscles of the airways, they are often used in combination.

    I hope that answers your question.

    Lyn (moderator)

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