COPD and SPIRIVA

Breathing with COPD is no small thing.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a serious lung disease and breathing usually gets worse over time. COPD includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and episodes of worsened symptoms called flare-ups (also known as exacerbations).

COPD is treatable. If you have COPD, SPIRIVA can help you breathe better and improve lung function by opening airways for 24 hours. SPIRIVA is not a rescue inhaler and should not be used for treating sudden breathing problems. Talk to your doctor about all of your options for managing COPD.

COPD is not the same as asthma. And although smoking is the number one cause of COPD, COPD is more than just smoker's cough. You don't have to be an active smoker to have COPD.

Chronic bronchitis

  • Chronic bronchitis associated with COPD is inflammation in your larger airways that causes swelling and obstruction. This can make it harder for air to move in or out of your lungs
  • Chronic bronchitis does not always go away completely
  • Inflammation of the airways can cause symptoms like coughing, mucus production, and shortness of breath
  • SPIRIVA can help by opening airways for 24 hours. One daily dose of SPIRIVA can help by relaxing the tiny muscles in the airways, which helps open airways for up to 24 hours

Emphysema

  • Emphysema associated with COPD is a permanent condition caused by damage to the air sacs in your lungs (called alveoli). This can make breathing out more difficult, so air remains trapped in your lungs. This leaves less room for fresh air to get in
  • Emphysema can make breathing harder and put strain on the muscles you use for breathing
  • SPIRIVA can help keep your airways open for 24 hours. SPIRIVA helps relax the muscles in the walls of your airways to open them and improve airflow into and out of the lungs, helping to empty your lungs so you can breathe in fresh air

Flare-ups (also called exacerbations)

  • COPD symptom flare-ups are episodes of new or increasing symptoms that last at least three days.
  • Symptoms may include: coughing, mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, or tightness in the chest
  • When you experience a COPD flare-up, you may require treatment beyond your normal medications and, in some cases, flare-ups may require hospitalization
  • SPIRIVA can help reduce the likelihood of COPD flare-ups. Once-daily SPIRIVA works to keep your airways open for up to 24 hours
  • SPIRIVA can't replace your rescue inhaler for treating sudden breathing problems. It's important to talk to your doctor about the roles of rescue and maintenance treatment
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Do not use Spiriva® HandiHaler® (tiotropium bromide inhalation powder) if you are allergic to tiotropium or ipratropium (e.g., Atrovent®) or any of the ingredients in SPIRIVA. If your breathing suddenly worsens, your face, throat, lips, or tongue swells, you get hives, itching or rash, stop taking SPIRIVA and seek immediate medical help.

SPIRIVA HandiHaler is not a rescue medicine and should not be used for treating sudden breathing problems.

Do not swallow SPIRIVA capsules. The contents of the capsule should only be inhaled through your mouth using the HandiHaler device.

If you have vision changes or eye pain or if you have difficulty passing urine or painful urination, stop taking SPIRIVA and call your doctor right away.

Tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, problems passing urine or an enlarged prostate, as these may worsen with SPIRIVA. Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems or are allergic to milk proteins. Ask your doctor if you are not sure. Also discuss with your doctor all the medicines you take, including eye drops.

The most common side effect with SPIRIVA is dry mouth. Others include constipation and trouble passing urine. For a complete list of reported side effects, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Do not let the powder from the SPIRIVA capsule get into your eyes.

Dizziness and blurred vision may occur with SPIRIVA. Should you experience these symptoms, you should use caution when engaging in activities such as driving a car or operating appliances or other machines.

Read the Patient Information and the step-by-step Instructions for Use for SPIRIVA before you use your inhaler.

INDICATION

Spiriva® HandiHaler® (tiotropium bromide inhalation powder) is a prescription medicine used once each day (a maintenance medicine) to control symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by relaxing your airways and keeping them open. COPD includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both.

SPIRIVA HandiHaler also reduces the likelihood of flare-ups and worsening of COPD symptoms (COPD exacerbations).

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information and Instructions for Use.

DISCLAIMER

The tips contained on this site convey general information and are not intended to be, nor should they be used as, a replacement for the advice of a licensed physician. Your doctor knows your specific condition. As with all things medical, you should talk to your doctor before you start any treatment, exercise, diet, or other lifestyle change.