Why is Spiriva Handihaler prescribed?
Spiriva is used to control and prevent symptoms (such as wheezing, shortness of breath) caused by ongoing lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD which includes bronchitis and emphysema). It works by relaxing the muscles around the airways so that they open up and you can breathe more easily. Tiotropium or Spiriva generic belongs to a class of drugs known as anticholinergics. This medication must be used regularly to be effective. It does not work right away and should not be used to relieve sudden breathing problems. If wheezing or sudden shortness of breath occurs, use your quick-relief inhaler (such as albuterol, also called salbutamol in some countries) as prescribed.
Do not swallow these capsules by mouth. Use the special inhaler to inhale the powder in the capsules. Inhale this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Inhale 2 times per capsule to make sure you inhale all of the drug. Do not breathe out into the mouthpiece at any time. Avoid getting this medication into your eyes. It may cause eye pain/irritation, temporary blurred vision, and other vision changes.
If you are using other inhalers at the same time, wait at least 1 minute between the use of each medication.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. This medication works best if used at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day. Do not increase your dose, use this medication more frequently, or stop using it without first consulting your doctor.
Rinse your mouth after using the inhaler to prevent dry mouth and throat irritation.
Clean the inhaler at least once a month with water. Allow to air-dry fully before using again.
Before using tiotropium, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or to ipratropium; or to atropine or other belladonna-type drugs; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as milk proteins), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. SPIRIVA is not for sudden COPD symptoms. Always carry a rescue inhaler.
Dry mouth, constipation, or dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: difficult/painful urination, fast heartbeat.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including eye pain/swelling/redness, vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night, blurred vision).
What should I do if I miss a dose?
Inhale the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not inhale a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Does Spiriva come in different forms?
Spiriva has 2 different forms. One is Handihaler and the other one is Respimat.
What to do in case of emergency/overdose?
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline. f the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.