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Spiriva is a bronchodilator medication used to prevent bronchospasm (narrowing of airways in the lungs) in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which includes bronchitis and emphysema. This medication is also used to prevent asthma attacks in adults and children over 6 years old.
Tiotropium bromide is an anticholinergic bronchodilator that improves airflow, reduces dyspnea, and helps manage COPD by binding to muscarinic receptors to relax muscles in your airways. Thanks to this action, Spiriva effectively improves breathing in those with COPD and asthma.
This medication has been proven to be effective at improving lung function and reducing symptoms of COPD as well as the occurrence of asthma attacks. Spiriva is generally well-tolerated and provides minimal side effects.
Uses and Dosage
The dose of Spiriva prescribed will vary depending on the individual and severity of their bronchial condition being treated. Follow all your doctor’s instructions and read packaging labels carefully for the best results during treatment.
- Spiriva rotacaps should not be swallowed
- Place a rotacap into the center chamber of your inhaler device
- Press the green piercing button on the device to pierce the capsule
- Inhale the medication through the mouthpiece
- Most adults should take two inhalations from one rotacap capsule daily
- Do not use more than two times within 24 hours
- Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat
- Do not let the rotacaps freeze or store them in your inhaler device
Spiriva may cause some side effects to develop while relaxing the muscles in your airways to improve airflow. Speak with your doctor for more specific information relating to any symptoms that you may encounter when taking tiotropium.
Common Spiriva side effects:
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Constipation, painful urination
- Upset stomach
- Chest pain, fast heart rate
- Cold symptoms (stuffy or runny nose, sinus pain, sore throat)
Serious Side Effects
Some more serious adverse reactions may occur when using tiotropium bromide. Stop taking Spiriva and call your doctor if you develop any of the following side effects:
- Wheezing, chocking, or other breathing problems after inhalation
- Blurred vision, eye pain or redness, seeing halos around lights
- White patches or sores on your mouth, lips, or tongue
- Pain or burning during urination
- Little or no urination
Do not use Spiriva if you are allergic to tiotropium or ipratropium. If you show signs of an allergic reaction, stop using this medication and contact your doctor.
Spiriva allergy symptoms may include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
Spiriva is designed to be used in inhalation devices and the rotacap capsules should not be taken by mouth.
Use one rotacap each day, do not use one for each inhalation.
Avoid getting any powder from the Spiriva capsule into your eyes. If contact occurs, call your doctor right away.
Avoid driving or performing hazardous tasks until you know how this medication will affect you because tiotropium may impair your reactions.
Do not use Spiriva to treat a bronchospasm attack that has already begun because it will not work fast enough. Spiriva is designed to prevent these attacks, but you should only use fast-acting inhalation medication to treat ones that develop.
To ensure your safety when taking Spiriva, tell your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Narrow-angle glaucoma
- Kidney disease
- Milk allergy
- An enlarged prostate
- Urination problems
Some drugs may interact with tiotropium bromide and cause adverse reactions. To avoid this, tell your doctor about all the medications you take, including over the counter medicines, but especially any of the following:
- Medicine for depression, anxiety, mood disorders, or mental illness
- Cold or allergy medicine
- Medication to treat Parkinson’s disease
- Medicine to treat stomach problems, motion sickness, or irritable bowel syndrome
- Medicine for overactive bladder
- Other bronchodilator asthma medications
Consult with your doctor before using Spiriva if you are pregnant. Tiotropium’s effects on unborn babies are unknown but having uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy could cause many complications in mother and child.
Ask your doctor about the risks of breastfeeding while taking Spiriva.
Spiriva is not an approved treatment for anyone under the age of 6.
Form and Strength
This bronchodilator is available in the form of rotacaps.
Spiriva rotacaps strength:
The 18mcg strength Spiriva rotacaps are available in quantities of 30 or 90.
When is the best time of day to take Spiriva?
The time of day when Spiriva is taken will not change the drug’s effectiveness, so you can take your dose whenever it is most convenient for you. The more regularly you use Spiriva, the better it can improve your symptoms and prevent bronchospasm attacks. Ensure that you do not use this medication more than once within 24 hours.
How does Spiriva work?
Spiriva sends tiotropium bromide into your airways and lungs after the medication is inhaled where it is absorbed and works to relax the muscles in your respiratory system. This increases your airflow and relieves symptoms of COPD. These symptoms may take up to 4 or 8 weeks of treatment to improve.
Spiriva, Tiova Rotacap