Spiriva HandiHaler

Generic Name: Tiotropium

  • What is Spiriva HandiHaler?

    Spiriva HandiHaler is a medicine used for the long-term, once-a-day treatment to help reduce bronchial spasms (wheezing) associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It comes as a capsule (not to be swallowed) containing dry powder, which is inhaled through the mouth only using the HandiHaler device. When inhaled, Spiriva opens up narrow air passages, allowing more oxygen to reach the lungs.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Spiriva HandiHaler?

    Spiriva HandiHaler is not for initial use in sudden attacks of wheezing when fast action is needed. In other words, Spiriva is not for "rescue therapy."

    An immediate allergic reaction (hives, swelling, or rash) is possible when you first use Spiriva HandiHaler. Inhaled medications, such as Spiriva, can also cause difficulty breathing in some people. If you have an allergic reaction or you start wheezing, stop using Spiriva HandiHaler immediately and contact your doctor.

  • Who should not take Spiriva HandiHaler?

    Do not use Spiriva HandiHaler if you have an allergic reaction to it, or if you are allergic to atropine or any of its derivatives, such as ipratropium. Also, do not use Spiriva HandiHaler if you are allergic to any milk products, such as lactose.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Spiriva HandiHaler?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Spiriva HandiHaler. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), an enlarged prostate, problems passing urine, or kidney problems.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The recommended dose is the inhalation of the contents of 1 capsule, taken once a day, with the HandiHaler device.

  • How should I take Spiriva HandiHaler?

    Spiriva capsules are designed to be used only with the HandiHaler inhalation device. The capsules should not be swallowed. Try to use the inhaler at the same time each day.

    Please refer to the Patient Information for detailed instructions on how to properly use this medication.

    When removing a capsule from the blister card, peel back only the foil that is covering the capsule you are about to use. The capsule's effectiveness may be reduced if it is not used immediately after the foil is opened. If you accidentally remove the foil covering of any of the other capsules, you must throw them away.

  • What should I avoid while taking Spiriva HandiHaler?

    Avoid getting the Spiriva powder into your eyes. It may cause blurred vision.

    Spiriva is for oral inhalation only. Do not swallow Spiriva capsules.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Spiriva HandiHaler?

    No significant interactions have been reported with Spiriva HandiHaler at this time. However, always tell your doctor about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

  • What are the possible side effects of Spiriva HandiHaler?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abdominal pain, chest pain, common cold, constipation, dry mouth, indigestion, infection, muscle pain, nose bleeds, rash, runny nose or nasal inflammation, sinus infection, sore throat, swelling, urinary tract infection, vomiting, yeast infection

  • Can I receive Spiriva HandiHaler if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Spiriva HandiHaler during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Spiriva HandiHaler?

    If you miss a dose of Spiriva HandiHaler, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Spiriva HandiHaler?

    Store at room temperature. Do not store capsules in the HandiHaler. Keep capsules away from moisture and extreme temperatures, such as in the refrigerator or in direct sunlight. Keep the capsules sealed until ready to use; do not expose unused capsules to air as this may compromise the effectiveness of the medication.

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