Medications

Spiriva® Handihaler®   

This product is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. using the ingredient tiotropium bromide monohydrate.

This product is inhaled into the lungs using the Handihaler®.


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Handihaler®


Why is it prescribed?

It is used as a long-acting bronchodilator for the maintenance treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and for add-on therapy in the treatment of asthma.


  • Use Spiriva® exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • It is not to be used as a rescue medication. 
  • It is to be administered once daily preferably at the same time each day by inhalation through the HandiHaler® device.
  • This medication is intended for inhalation only. Do not take by mouth.
  • The HandiHaler® device is only meant for the Spiriva®; do not use it to take any other medication.
  • If you are unable to breath in through the inhaler device strongly enough to make the capsule vibrate, consult your physician.
  • You should not inhale Spiriva® with any other device other than the HandiHaler®.
  • Become familiar with the device. Your pharmacist will show you how to use the HandiHaler®. If you have any questions or concerns ask your doctor or pharmacist. 
  • You can use the HandiHaler® for up to one year to take your medication before needing a replacement.
  • Follow the manufacturer's directions for care and cleaning of the HandiHaler®. It is important to clean the device once a month.
  • Store Spiriva® and the HandiHaler® in a cool dry place at room temperature (15 to 25 degrees centigrade). Protect from moisture. Do not freeze. The Spiriva® capsules should not be exposed, either in the blister pack or in the HandiHaler®, to extreme temperatures. Do not expose to sunlight, heat and humidity.

Alternatives

Other products that have the same ingredient as Spiriva® Handihaler® are •Inspiolto® Respimat® •Spiriva® Respimat® •

See other products used in the treatment of •bronchospasm associated with COPD •chronic bronchitis (COPD) •COPD •emphysema (COPD) •

The recommended dosage in adults is inhalation of the contents of one capsule (18mcg) once daily.


Tiotropium is a long-acting bronchodilator. It opens up narrowed breathing passages to help relieve symptoms of asthma and COPD.


Along with its needed effects, tiotropium may cause some unwanted or undesirable effects. Often, tiotropium users who use their medication properly, never experience any unwanted effects. The severity and duration of these effects are dependant on many factors including duration of therapy, dose, route of administration and individual response. Possible unwanted effects include:

  • dry mouth
  • chest pain
  • sinusitus
  • constipation
  • stomach pain

Less common:

  • allergic reactions
  • leg pain
  • tingling sensation
  • increase blood glucose
  • increase cholesterol levels

Rare:

  • difficulty urinating
  • rapid heart beat

Many of these unwanted effects, especially the most common ones, may disappear with continued use. Check with the doctor or pharmacist if any of them continue or become bothersome.

 


  • Tiotropium is used as a once daily maintenance bronchodilator.  It should not be used for acute episodes of bronchospasm. It is not a rescue medication.
  • Immediate hypersensitivity reactions (e.g. skin rash, swelling of the lip, tongue and face) may occur after administration of tiotropium.
  • Inhaled medicines may cause inhalation-induced bronchospasm.
  • Precautions should be taken to prevent getting the drug powder in the eyes. Getting tiotropium in the eye may cause eye pain or discomfort, temporary blurring of vision, visual halos or coloured images and may cause or worsen narrow-angle glaucoma.
  • Tiotropium should not be used more frequently than once daily.
  • This medication should not be used in people with an allergy to tiotropium or to atropine and its derivatives (e.g. ipratropium), or to lactose.
  • Tiotropium should be used with caution in people with narrow angle glaucoma, enlarged prostate, bladder obstruction, kidney disease.

Use in pregnancy: No human data available. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before use.

Use while breastfeeding: No human data available. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before use.


Page Last Updated: 05/10/2016