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Boehringer Ingelheim Limited

The Crescent Building, , Northwood, Santry, Dublin 9,
Telephone: +353 1 295 9620
Fax: : +353 1 816 3642
Medical Information e-mail: Medinfo@dbl.boehringer-ingelheim.com

Summary of Product Characteristics last updated on medicines.ie: 12/01/2016
SPC Combivent UDVs

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Combivent® UDVs® 500 micrograms/2.5 mg per 2.5 ml Nebuliser solution

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Each 2.5 ml single dose unit contains 500 micrograms ipratropium bromide (as the monohydrate) and 2.5 mg salbutamol (as the sulphate).

For a full list of excipients, see section 6.1.

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Nebuliser solution.

Clear, colourless or almost colourless solution.

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4.1 Therapeutic indications

COMBIVENT UDVs are indicated for the management of bronchospasm in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who require regular treatment with both ipratropium and salbutamol.

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4.2 Posology and method of administration

COMBIVENT UDVs are intended for inhalation only and may be administered from a suitable nebuliser or an intermittent positive pressure ventilator. The single dose units must not be taken orally or administered parenterally.

The recommended dose is:

Adults (including elderly patients):

1 vial three or four times daily.

Patients should be advised to consult a doctor or the nearest hospital immediately in the case of acute or rapidly worsening dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing).

Special Populations:

COMBIVENT has not been studied in patients with hepatic or renal insufficiency. It should be used with caution in those patient populations.

Paediatric patients:

Because of insufficient information in children COMBIVENT is not indicated for paediatric patients.

Treatment should be initiated and administered under medical supervision, e.g. in the hospital setting. Home based treatment can be recommended in exceptional cases (patients with severe symptoms, and very experienced patients) when a low dose rapid acting beta-agonist bronchodilator has been insufficient in providing relief after consultation with an experienced physician.

The treatment with the nebuliser solution in UDVs should always be started with the lowest recommended dose (1 UDV). In very severe cases two unit dose vials may be required for symptom relief. Administration should be stopped when sufficient symptom relief is achieved.


The dose of nebuliser solution may need to be diluted in order to obtain a final volume suitable for the particular nebuliser being used; if dilution is necessary use only sterile sodium chloride 0.9% solution.

Please refer to the patient information leaflet for instructions for use with a nebuliser.

Since the single dose units contain no preservatives, it is important that the contents are used immediately after opening and that a fresh vial is used for each administration to avoid microbial contamination. Partly used, opened or damaged single dose units should be discarded.

It is strongly recommended not to mix COMBIVENT UDVs with other drugs in the same nebuliser.

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4.3 Contraindications

COMBIVENT UDVs are contraindicated in patients with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy or tachyarrhythmia.

COMBIVENT UDVs are also contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to ipratropium bromide, salbutamol sulphate or to atropine or its derivatives.

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4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use


Immediate hypersensitivity reactions may occur after administration of COMBIVENT UDVs, as demonstrated by rare cases of urticaria, angioedema, rash, bronchospasm and oropharyngeal oedema.

Paradoxical bronchospasm

As with other inhaled medicines COMBIVENT may result in paradoxical bronchospasm that may be life-threatening. If paradoxical bronchospasm occurs COMBIVENT should be discontinued immediately and substituted with an alternative therapy.


The patient should be instructed to consult a doctor immediately in the event of acute, rapidly worsening dyspnoea. In addition, the patient should be warned to seek medical advice should a reduced response become apparent.

Ocular complications

There have been rare cases of ocular complications (i.e. mydriasis, blurring of vision, narrow-angle glaucoma and eye pain) when the contents of metered aerosols containing ipratropium bromide have been sprayed inadvertently into the eye.

Patients must be instructed in the correct use of COMBIVENT UDVs and warned not to allow the solution or mist to enter the eyes. This is particularly important in patients who may be pre-disposed to glaucoma. Such patients should be warned specifically to protect their eyes. Eye pain or discomfort, blurred vision, visual halos or coloured images, in association with red eyes from conjunctival congestion and corneal oedema may be signs of acute narrow-angle glaucoma. Should any combination of these symptoms develop, treatment with miotic drops should be initiated and specialist advice sought immediately.

Systemic effects

In the following conditions COMBIVENT UDVs should only be used after careful risk/benefit assessment:

Inadequately controlled diabetes mellitus, recent myocardial infarction and/or severe organic heart or vascular disorders, hyperthyroidism, pheochromocytoma, risk of narrow-angle glaucoma, prostatic hypertrophy or bladder-neck obstruction.


Potentially serious hypokalaemia may result from beta2-agonist therapy. Particular caution is advised in severe airway obstruction, as this effect may be potentiated by concomitant treatment with xanthine derivatives, steroids and diuretics. Additionally, hypoxia may aggravate the effects of hypokalaemia on cardiac rhythm (especially in patients receiving digoxin). It is recommended that serum potassium levels are monitored in such situations.

Gastro-intestinal motility disturbances

Patients with cystic fibrosis may be more prone to gastro-intestinal motility disturbances.

Cardiovascular effects

Cardiovascular effects may be seen with sympathomimetic drugs, including COMBIVENT. There is some evidence from post-marketing data and published literature of myocardial ischaemia associated with salbutamol. Patients with underlying severe heart disease (e.g. ischaemic heart disease, arrhythmia or severe heart failure) who are receiving salbutamol for respiratory disease should be warned to seek medical advice if they experience chest pain or other symptoms of worsening heart disease. Attention should be paid to assessment of symptoms such as dyspnoea and chest pain as they may be of either respiratory or cardiac origin.

Interference with laboratory tests or other diagnostic measures

The use of COMBIVENT may lead to positive results with regards to salbutamol in tests for non clinical substance abuse, e.g. in the context of athletic performance enhancement (doping).

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4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

The chronic co-administration of COMBIVENT with other anticholinergic drugs has not been studied. Therefore, the chronic co-administration of COMBIVENT with other anticholinergic drugs is not recommended.

The use of additional beta-agonists, xanthine derivatives and corticosteroids may enhance the effect of COMBIVENT UDVs. The concurrent administration of other beta-mimetics, systemically absorbed anticholinergics and xanthine derivatives may increase the severity of side effects. A potentially serious reduction in effect may occur during concurrent administration of beta-blockers.

Beta2-adrenergic agonists should be administered with caution to patients being treated with monoamine oxidase inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants, since the action of beta2-adrenergic agonists may be enhanced.

Inhalation of halogenated hydrocarbon anaesthetics such as halothane, trichloroethylene and enflurane may increase the susceptibility to the cardiovascular effects of beta-agonists.

4.6 Fertility, pregnancy and lactation


The safety of COMBIVENT during human Pregnancy has not been established. The inhibitory effect of COMBIVENT on uterine contraction should be taken into account. The benefits of using COMBIVENT during a confirmed or suspected pregnancy must be weighed against possible hazards to the unborn child. The usual precautions regarding the use of drugs in pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, should be observed.

For ipratropium bromide, nonclinical studies have shown no embryotoxic or teratogenic effects following inhalation or intranasal application at doses considerably higher than those recommended in man. For salbutamol sulphate, non-inhalation nonclinical studies did not indicate direct or indirect harmful effects unless the inhalation Maximum Recommended Human Daily Dose (MRHDD) was exceeded.


It is not known whether ipratropium bromide and salbutamol sulphate are excreted in breast milk. It is considered unlikely that ipratropium bromide would reach the infant to an important extent, especially when administered by inhalation. However, caution should be exercised when COMBIVENT is administered to nursing mothers.


No studies on the effect on human fertility have been conducted for COMBIVENT. Clinical data on fertility are neither available for the combination of ipratropium bromide and salbutamol sulphate nor for each of the two components of the combination. Nonclinical studies performed with ipratropium bromide and salbutamol showed no adverse effect on fertility.

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4.7 Effects on ability to drive and use machines

No studies on the effects on the ability to drive and use machines have been performed. However, patients should be advised that they may experience undesirable effects such as dizziness, accommodation disorder, mydriasis and blurred vision during treatment with COMBIVENT. Therefore, caution should be recommended when driving a car or operating machinery. If patients experience the above mentioned side effects they should avoid potentially hazardous tasks such as driving or operating machinery.

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4.8 Undesirable effects

Many of the listed undesirable effects can be assigned to the anticholinergic and beta2 –sympathomimetic properties of COMBIVENT. As with all inhalation therapy COMBIVENT may show symptoms of local irritation. Adverse drug reactions were identified from data obtained in clinical trials and pharmacovigilance during post approval of the drug.

The most frequent side effects reported in clinical trials were headache, throat irritation, cough, dry mouth, gastro-intestinal motility disorders (including constipation, diarrhoea and vomiting), nausea and dizziness.


Very common




Very Rare

≥ 1/10

≥ 1/100 <1/10

≥ 1/1,000 <1/100

≥ 1/10,000 < 1/1,000

< 1/10,000

Immune system disorders:

Anaphylactic reaction




Metabolism and nutrition disorders:



Psychiatric disorders:


Mental disorder



Nervous system disorders:







Eye disorders:

Accommodation disorder

Corneal oedema


Eye pain

Intraocular pressure increased


Vision blurred

Conjunctival hyperaemia

Halo vision










Cardiac disorders:




Atrial fibrillation

Myocardial ischaemia

Supraventricular tachycardia







Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders:




Bronchospasm paradoxical

Dry throat


Pharyngeal oedema








Gastrointestinal disorders:

Dry mouth


Throat irritation



Gastrointestinal motility disorder

Oedema mouth












Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders:

Skin reactions (such as rash, pruritus, urticaria)












Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders

Muscle spasms

Muscular weakness





Renal and urinary disorders:

Urinary retention


General disorders and administration site conditions:




Blood pressure systolic increased:

Blood pressure diastolic decreased:



Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via HPRA Pharmacovigilance, Earlsfort Terrace, IRL – Dublin 2; Tel: +353 1 6764971; Fax: +353 1 6762517.

Website: www.hpra.ie; e-mail: medsafety@hpra.ie.

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4.9 Overdose

Acute effects of overdosage with ipratropium bromide are mild and transient in nature (such as dry mouth, visual accommodation disorders) due to its poor systemic absorption after either inhalation or oral administration. Any effects of overdosage are therefore likely to be related to the salbutamol component.

Manifestations of overdosage with salbutamol may include tachycardia, anginal pain, hypertension, palpitations, tremor, hypokalaemia, hypotension, widening of the pulse pressure, arrhythmias and flushing. Metabolic acidosis has also been observed with overdosage of salbutamol.

Treatment with COMBIVENT should be discontinued. Acid base and electrolyte monitoring should be considered. The preferred antidote for overdosage with salbutamol is a cardioselective beta-blocking agent, but caution should be used in administering these drugs to patients with a history of bronchospasm.

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5.1 Pharmacodynamic properties

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Adrenergics in combination with anticholinergics for obstructive airway diseases.

ATC code: R03AL02

Mode of action and pharmacodynamics

Ipratropium bromide is a quaternary ammonium compound with anticholinergic (parasympatholytic) properties. In nonclinical studies, it appears to inhibit vagally mediated reflexes by antagonising the action of acetylcholine, the transmitter agent released from the vagus nerve. Anticholinergics prevent the increase in intracellular concentration of Ca++ which is caused by interaction of acetylcholine with the muscarinic receptor on bronchial smooth muscle. Ca++ release is mediated by the second messenger system consisting of IP3 (inositol triphosphate) and DAG (diacylglycerol).

The bronchodilation following inhalation of ipratropium bromide is primarily local and site specific to the lung and not systemic in nature.

Salbutamol is a beta2 adrenergic agent which acts on airway smooth muscle resulting in relaxation. Salbutamol relaxes all smooth muscle from the trachea to the terminal bronchioles and protects against bronchoconstrictor challenges.

COMBIVENT UDVs provide the simultaneous delivery of ipratropium bromide and salbutamol sulphate allowing effects on both muscarinic and beta2-adrenergic receptors in the lung leading to increased bronchodilation over that provided by each agent singly.

Paediatric population

COMBIVENT has not been studied in the paediatric population.

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5.2 Pharmacokinetic properties

Co-administration of ipratropium bromide and salbutamol sulphate does not potentiate the systemic absorption of either component and therefore the additive activity of COMBIVENT is due to the combined local effect on the lung following inhalation.



Cumulative renal excretion (0-24 hrs) of ipratropium (parent compound) is approximated to 46% of an intravenously administered dose, below 1% of an oral dose and approximately 3 to 4% of an inhaled dose. Based on these data, the total systemic bioavailability of oral and inhaled doses of ipratropium bromide is estimated at 2% and 7 to 9% respectively.

Taking this into account, swallowed dose portions of ipratropium bromide do not relevantly contribute to systemic exposure.


Kinetic parameters describing the disposition of ipratropium bromide were calculated from plasma concentrations after i.v. administration. A rapid biphasic decline in plasma concentrations is observed. The apparent volume of distribution at steady-state (Vdss) is approximately 176 L (≈ 2.4 L/kg). The drug is minimally (less than 20%) bound to plasma proteins. Nonclinical data indicate that the quaternary amine ipratropium does not cross the placental or the blood-brain barrier.


The half-life of the terminal elimination phase is approximately 1.6 hours.

Ipratropium has a total clearance of 2.3 L/min and a renal clearance of 0.9 L/min. After intravenous administration approximately 60% of a dose is metabolised, the major portion probably in the liver by oxidation.


In an excretion balance study cumulative renal excretion (6 days) of drug-related radioactivity (including parent compound and all metabolites) accounted for 72.1% after intravenous administration, 9.3% after oral administration and 3.2% after inhalation. Total radioactivity excreted via the faeces was 6.3% following intravenous application, 88.5% following oral dosing and 69.4% after inhalation. Regarding the excretion of drug-related radioactivity after intravenous administration, the main excretion occurs via the kidneys. The half-life for elimination of drug-related radioactivity (parent compound and metabolites) is 3.6 hours. The main urinary metabolites bind poorly to the muscarinic receptor and have to be regarded as ineffective.


Absorption and Distribution

Salbutamol is rapidly and completely absorbed following oral administration either by the inhaled or the gastric route and has an oral bioavailability of approximately 50%. Mean peak plasma salbutamol concentrations of 492 pg/mL occur within three hours after inhalation of COMBIVENT.

Kinetic parameters were calculated from plasma concentrations after i.v. administration. The apparent volume of distribution (Vz) is approximately 156 L (≈ 2.5 L/kg). Only 8% of the drug is bound to plasma proteins. In nonclinical trials, levels of approximately 5% of the plasma level of salbutamol are found in the brain. However, this amount probably represents the distribution of the substance in the extracellular water of the brain.

Biotransformation and Elimination

Following this single inhaled administration, approximately 27% of the estimated mouthpiece dose is excreted unchanged in the 24 hour urine. The mean terminal half life is approximately 4 hours with a mean total clearance of 480 mL/min and a mean renal clearance of 291 mL/min.

Salbutamol is conjugatively metabolised to salbutamol 4'-O-sulphate. The R(-)- enantiomer of salbutamol (levosalbutamol) is preferentially metabolised and is therefore cleared from the body more rapidly than the S(+) - enantiomer. Following intravenous administration, urinary excretion was complete after approximately 24 hours. The majority of the dose was excreted as parent compound (64.2) and 12.0% were excreted as sulphate conjugate. After oral administration urinary excretion of unchanged drug and sulphate conjugate were 31.8% and 48.2 of the dose, respectively.

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5.3 Preclinical safety data

The individual active ingredients, ipratropium bromide and salbutamol sulphate, have been extensively investigated in animal models and there are no clinically relevant safety issues when COMBIVENT UDVs are used at the recommended doses by patients.

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6.1 List of excipient(s)

Sodium chloride

Hydrochloric acid

Purified water

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6.2 Incompatibilities

In the absence of compatibility studies, it is strongly recommended not to mix COMBIVENT UDVs with other drugs in the same nebuliser.

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6.3 Shelf life

2 years

As the product contains no preservatives, a fresh vial should be used for each administration and the vial should be opened immediately before administration. Any solution left in the vial should be discarded.

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6.4 Special precautions for storage

Do not store above 25°C. Do not freeze. Keep container in the outer carton.

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6.5 Nature and contents of container

Low density polyethylene (LDPE) vials containing 2.5 ml of solution, formed into strips of 10 and packed into cartons containing 10, 20 or 60 vials.

Not all pack sizes may be marketed.

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6.6 Special precautions for disposal and other handling

Not applicable.

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Boehringer Ingelheim Limited

Ellesfield Avenue



RG12 8YS

United Kingdom

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PA 7/52/2

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Date of first authorisation:7 March 1997

Date of last renewal: 13 November 2005

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January 2016

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