Tips on How to Use Spiriva Effectively


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Table of Contents


I. The Function of the Lungs

II. COPD & Asthma

III. How Does Spiriva Interact with the Body?

IV. Tips on Using Spiriva Respimat

V. Tips on Using Spiriva Handihaler


The Function of the Lungs

Hundreds of millions of people across the world suffer from chronic lung diseases. Most commonly, people suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. When you are diagnosed with these conditions, doctors may prescribe you Spiriva Handihaler or Spiriva Respimat to help ease unpleasant symptoms. Common symptoms can include: 

  • Unintended weight loss (in later stages)
  • Frequent respiratory infections 
  • Lack of energy 
  • Chronic cough 
  • Producing mucus that may be white, yellow, or green 
  • Shortness of breath 

When we breathe in, oxygen passes through the windpipe into the lungs and fills the lung’s air sacs with oxygen. These air sacs are full of many little blood vessels and help filter carbon dioxide. If these air sacs lose their elasticity, air can become trapped in the lungs, affecting your breathing. 

an animation of the human lungs

COPD & Asthma 

Because chronic lung diseases are so common, there are several reasons why they may occur. Smoking, exposure to irritating gases and chemicals, and genetic factors are the most common reasons behind these diseases. COPD involves several diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In the case of emphysema, lung disease destroys the elastic fiber of the alveoli (tiny air sacs), leading to insufficient airflow out of the lungs. Chronic bronchitis involves inflammation of the bronchial tubes, causing the lungs to produce more mucus and block the airways.

Asthma is a similar airway disease that affects how oxygen goes in and out of the lungs. Asthma symptoms occur when a triggering allergen or event causes the airways to become irritated or swollen. This can make breathing difficult and cause coughing and tightness in the chest. This lung disorder often starts in childhood and may continue into adulthood. 

To improve the symptoms of these conditions, inhaled medications like Spiriva Handihaler and Spiriva Respimat can provide long-term relief. Learn more about the effect of this medication on the body and how to use it effectively.

How Does Spiriva Interact with the Body?

Both forms of Spiriva offered by My Drug Center contain tiotropium bromide. This substance acts as a bronchodilator, which relaxes muscles in the airways and increases airflow to the lungs. Tiotropium is an anticholinergic drug. These drugs work by blocking a particular neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine blocks involuntary nerve impulses, which reduces swelling and inflammation in the airways. 

an animation of a person holding an inhaler

Patients must use Spiriva regularly to be effective. Because it is a maintenance inhaler, these medications do not work right away. These inhalers keep your airways open and healthy, which reduces the rate of sudden breathing problems or asthma attacks.  

Tips on Using Spiriva Respimat

When starting a new medication, it is essential that you follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. The following passages give basic guidelines on how to use Spiriva Respimat, but your doctor’s instruction is the most important and should be followed exactly.

Spiriva Respimat is one version of this tiotropium bromide medication. It comes with a cartridge and an inhaler that need to be put together before the drug can be used. To insert the cartridge into the inhaler, press the gray safety catch and pull off the clear base. You then push the narrow end of the cartridge into the inhaler. Please do not remove this cartridge once it is inserted. Once the clear base is back into place, the inhaler is ready to go. 

If you haven’t used the inhaler in over three days, you need to prime the inhaler. This involves flipping the orange cap open, pointing the inhaler at the ground, and pressing the dark gray button until a spray is visible. Once a visible vapor cloud is present, the inhaler is primed and ready for use.  

Your doctor may recommend the following steps when using Spiriva Respimat: 

1. Hold the inhaler upright with the cap closed. 

2. The clear base should be turned towards the white arrows on the label until you hear a click. 

3. Open the orange cap.

4. Take a deep breathe out and clear your lungs. 

5. Put your lips around the mouthpiece, but don’t cover the holes on the side of the mouthpiece.

6. Press the dark gray button while taking in a slow, deep breath at the same time. Continue to breathe in slowly until the lungs are full. 

7. Once your lungs are full, hold your breath for up to 10 seconds. Breathe out. 

8. Repeat these steps if your doctor recommends more than one dose a day. Wait 30 seconds before taking a second puff. 

9. Put the cap back on and store it in a safe place, away from children and animals. 

a doctor talking to a patient

Tips on Using Spiriva Handihaler

Spiriva Handihaler is slightly different from Spiriva Respimat. The Handihaler does not come with a cartridge but several capsules in a blister card. This type of drug contains the same medication but delivers a slow-moving mist into the lungs instead of vapor, like Respimat. Along with the advice of your doctor, you may want to follow these steps to use the Handihaler effectively:

1. Open the Handihaler and separate one capsule from the blister card. If you mistakenly open another blister and reveal the capsule, dispose of this compromised capsule. 

2. Insert the capsule into the Handihaler and close the mouthpiece against the gray base until a click is heard. 

3. Push the green piercing button until it is flush against the base. Release your hold from the button. 

4. Take a deep breath out, and then put your lips around the mouthpiece. 

5. Take a deep breath in until your lungs feel full. 

6. When breathing, you should feel the capsule vibrate, signifying proper use. 

If you have more questions about the use of these medications, consult your doctor. It is essential not to swallow the Handihaler capsules. Patients should only use these capsules with the prescribed Handihaler device.

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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