Spiriva Handihaler (tiotropium bromide) is an oral inhalation used as a maintenance treatment for bronchospasm associated with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). It is also indicated for the reduction of COPD exacerbation.
This long-acting, antimuscarinic agent (known as “anticholinergic”) works by inhibiting M3 receptors at the airway’s smoaoth muscles, leading to bronchodilation. In vitro and in vivo trials show that its inhibition of bronchoconstriction effects is dependent on the dose and could last longer than 24 hours.
Read the medication or prescription guide before starting to use this oral inhalation. Follow the directions given on how to use Spiriva inhaler. Take it regularly and as prescribed. Do not increase or decrease your Spiriva dose, or stop using the inhaler without your doctor’s advice.
Here’s the step-by-step guide in using Spiriva Handihaler:
- Remove the handihaler from the pouch. Press the green button to open the dust cap or the lid.
- Pull the lid upward from the base to see the mouthpiece.
- Pull the mouthpiece ridge upwards to see the center chamber.
- Take out your Spiriva blister pack. Separate one blister from the entire card by tearing along the lines. Then, remove the capsule from the blister.
Note: Do not swallow Spiriva capsules.
- Place the capsule in the middle or center chamber of the device and close the mouthpiece until you hear a click.
- Make sure to hold the handihaler with the mouthpiece pointing up. Push the green piercing button once until it is flat.
Note: Do not press the green piercing button more than once, and do not shake the device once the capsule is in place.
- Exhale deeply through your mouth. Note that your head is in an upright position.
- Raise the Spiriva Handihaler to your mouth in a horizontal position.
Note: Do not block the air vents with your fingers.
- Close your lips around the mouthpiece and inhale deeply for as long as you can. You will hear or feel the Spiriva rattle.
- Hold your breath for a few seconds while taking the device out of your mouth.
- Breathe normally again,
- Repeat the procedure by exhaling deeply again and inhale fully in the device’s mouthpiece with the same capsule.
Note: It is important to inhale two times from the same capsule to get the full dose of the medicine.
- When you’re done with your two inhalations, rinse your mouth with water. Do not swallow it. This would prevent dry mouth and throat irritation.
- After using the device, open the mouthpiece again and discard the capsule in the trash without touching it.
- Turn the device upside down and tap it gently to remove excess powders from the capsule.
- Store the Spiriva Handihaler and Spiriva capsules in a cool, dry place.
Some of the common side effects of using Spiriva Handihaler are:
Seek medical help if your side effects worsen. Other severe adverse reactions to look out for are fast heartbeat, painful urination, eye pain, and vision changes.
Avoid taking this inhalation if you have an allergy to ipratropium, atropine, belladonna-type drugs, or any ingredients this medication may contain, like milk proteins.
Tell your doctor about your medical history, especially that of kidney disease, glaucoma, or any condition in which you have experienced difficulty in urinating. Some conditions you have might increase your risk of experiencing severe adverse reactions.
This drug can also make you dizzy, and it could blur your vision. Limit your alcohol intake while using this medication. Avoid doing activities that require alertness and clear vision, such as driving and the use of machinery, until you deem it safe.
It is not known whether Spiriva Handihaler could affect women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. There are no sufficient clinical trials in this category.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference – Spiriva Handihaler vs Respimat?
Both forms of Spiriva contain tiotropium bromide. However, Spiriva Handihaler is an inhalation powder from a capsule, whereas Spiriva Respimat is a slow-moving mist/inhalation spray.
Is Spiriva Handihaler difficult to use?
Most people using this medication find it easy to use. Just make sure to follow the Spiriva Handihaler instructions in the Directions section above.
What should I do if I did not hear the rattle upon inhalation of my Spiriva Handihaler?
If you did not hear the rattle sound, it is NOT necessary to press the green piercing button once more. Hold the device with the mouthpiece pointing upward and tap it gently on a table. Then, exhale deeply and inhale into the mouthpiece. You should hear or feel the rattle at this point.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Spiriva Handihaler?
If you miss a dose of this inhalation, take it as soon as you can. However, do not use it if you’re just a few hours away from the next dose and go back to your regular schedule.
How often should I clean my Spiriva Handihaler device?
You should clean your handihaler as often as needed.