Compare albuterol vs. ipratropium

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.


ProAir HFA (albuterol)

Prescription only

Atrovent (ipratropium)

Prescription only
Makes it easier to breathe.

ProAir HFA (albuterol) acts quickly to stop asthma attacks and help you breathe easier. However, it is not used for long-term treatment and prevention of asthma since its effects don't last long.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 535 reviewsforalbuterol
Relieves runny nose due to the common cold or allergies.

Atrovent (ipratropium) is a good add-on treatment only when oral allergy medicines and steroid nasal sprays have not worked to control your runny nose, but the effects don't last long.

  • Works quickly to relieve symptoms of asthma.
  • Helps prevent asthma attacks caused by exercise.
  • The metered-dose inhaler is small enough to carry around making it convenient to use when needed.
  • ProAir HFA (albuterol) is also available in the form of tablets and liquid.
  • The inhaler is safe to be used in children age 4 or older.
  • Won't make you drowsy like other allergy medicines.
  • Atrovent (ipratropium) is generally well tolerated.
  • Available in a cheap, generic form.
  • Safe for use in children age 6 and older (depending on dosage).
  • ProAir HFA (albuterol) is only used for quick relief of asthma attacks and not for long-term treatment.
  • No generic form of the inhaler is available so it can be expensive for those without insurance.
  • Can cause your heart to beat faster, which is an uncomfortable side effect. Might not be a good option for those with heart problems since the medicine can raise your blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Mouthpiece of the inhaler should be cleaned at least once a week so that it can continue to work properly.
  • Children might find the inhaler difficult to use.
  • Can take 1 to 2 weeks before you start feeling better.
  • The nasal spray should only be used for maximum of 4 days if you have a cold or 3 weeks if you have allergies.
  • Effect doesn't last long so you will need to use it multiple times in a day.
  • Doesn't work directly to target your allergies.
  • Won't work well if you also have a stuffy nose and/or are sneezing.
Used for
  • Runny nose
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended-release pill
  • Liquid
  • Inhaler
  • Nebulizer solution
  • Nasal spray
No pricing information available
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535 reviews so far
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Side effects
9possible side effects
  • Tremor
  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle cramps
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness
See more detailed side effects
8possible side effects
  • Headache
  • Upper lung infection
  • Bloody nose
  • Sore throat
  • Dry nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Inflammation and irritation of the nose
  • Nausea
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Worsening of asthma attack
    • Using a new canister of ProAir HFA (albuterol) for the first time
  • Frequent use of ProAir HFA (albuterol)
  • Effects on heart
    • Using ProAir HFA (albuterol) at more than the recommended doses
    • People with heart problems and/or an overactive thyroid
  • Life-threatening effects
    • Using ProAir HFA (albuterol) at more than the recommended doses
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Lowered potassium levels in blood
    • Taking medications that lower potassium such as certain diuretics
    • History of low potassium levels
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Eye problems
  • Allergic reaction
See more detailed risks and warnings