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Atrovent Made My Best ENT Visit Ever

Atrovent - ipratropium bromideMy now bi-monthly ENT visit Friday was a pretty cool one due to Atrovent nasal spray. I just didn’t know it until now. Just a tiny back story for the new readers: I had my 9th sinus surgery in October 2010 and didn’t feel any relief, CT scan showed my sinuses worse off than September by mid-December, so I switched ENTs and had surgery #10 in January 2011. I’ve continually gotten better all year, most especially after May because I was still having massive sinus headaches up until then but have since decided it’s “just” migraines.

For about 3 months now, I’ve had a severe runny nose. But wait, it’s not just any runny nose. It’s just on my left side. It’s always clear as water and the consistency of hand sanitizer. That’s it! It’s like a hand sanitizer factory. Want some? I’m far from exaggerating to say that I went through more than a box of Kleenex per week – every week. I’d blow my nose in the bathroom in the morning, come downstairs to get my neb stuff, and immediately blow again when I sat down on the couch to start. Then I’d head upstairs and blow again. Every time I moved my head or coughed, I had a mess to consider stopping.

I mentioned it (obviously too passingly) in November because he wasn’t concerned because everything looked good. This time I marked on my sheet that it had to be resolved in a “we need to talk’ manner. He looked and cleaned and said everything looked good, only moist on the left side. I saw the video… really, really, really moist is being polite. I told him that I had blown my nose in the car before walking in and again when I got to the waiting room. It was this wet after 40 minutes of sitting in a chair.

I assured him that this is not normal for me and is a completely new and unacceptable condition because it’s becoming quite embarrassing to blow that often and especially to have “hand sanitizer” hanging from your nose after a quick cough. I said that it had to be fixed if it can be fixed.

He replied that he could write me a script for a spray that may or may not work. “I don’t care, I’ll try anything,” I said, and he wrote me a script for Atrovent. I asked how it worked and he said it stops the same glands that produce saliva from going into overdrive but that I shouldn’t have any drying out effects elsewhere because it is just a nasal spray.

Publix Pharmacy filled the script with the generic ipratropium bromide 0.03% on Monday. Boy do I wish I’d gone on Friday afternoon! I sprayed last night before my nebs and didn’t have a runny nose. All evening, no runny nose. I woke up, no runny nose. I did my morning spray before my nebs and I haven’t had a runny nose all day. For me, it has been an absolute cure-all for what was ailing the last remaining complaint I have related to my sinuses.

I don’t know and don’t care what brought this symptom on, but it’s solved now. If you have a similar issue, I’d suggest asking your doctor or ENT about Atrovent. Does it work for anyone else like it does for me?


  1. Erintaylor8284 says

    I actually do inhaled atrovent/albuterol and it has been amazing for me. Especially when I’m congested and am coughing a ton. It helps open me up and dry me out enough to get a much needed break from all the coughing. I get to breathe deep for a while without goin into a fit cause my lungs aren’t as inflamed and everything’s not liquid in there. I don’t use it all the time, mainly when I’m not feeling particularly well. Last time I got really sick and had to call an ambulance to take me in cause I was home alone and couldn’t drive they gave me that and I could immediately breathe again after over an hour of treatments tryin to stop coughing long enough to get some air in. I was in shock! I asked what they had given me and they told me a duo Bev of albuterol and atrovent. I asked my dr as soon as I saw him for a Rx for it. I’ve been so happy to have it.

    • I saw the inhaled version for COPD when I looked up the drug info online. I’ll be bringing that up at clinic on Friday, for sure. Tightness and rattling is my #1 airway issue now. Thanks for the info – that was cool.

  2. While I don’t have CF, inhaled Atrovent [via MDI, not nebbed] has been awesome for my asthma.  I find that it gets the residual tightness out that the Symbicort wasn’t hitting.  If you decide to try the inhaled Atro out, definitely keep us posted.  Glad it is helping with the sinus issues!

    • Now I’m really intrigued. Doubly going to ask now. Heck, I’m tempted to e-mail tonight for a response tomorrow to see if I can inhale it before clinic… but that might seriously throw off my numbers. I’ll already be a year older on the machine, so that will affect my numbers, too.

  3. Dawnstevens says

    Fascinating!  I too use DuoNeb (atrovent/albuterol) nebs and have been for years. Have severe asthma and this is better than plain albuterol…I too have had the runny nose thing but attributed to allergies so never said much about it; when I did I was actually given Flonase.  Had NO IDEA atrovent could be use in this matter.  Thank you for sharing cuz I’m asking about it if / when it starts up again.  You are right — it’s VERY annoying!!