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What is Spiriva Used For?

Spiriva is a prescription inhaler for long-term maintenance of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. It comes in two forms with different FDA-approved uses:

  • Spiriva HandiHaler is used to treat COPD in adults. It contains the drug tiotropium bromide in powder form, which is taken through an inhaler. 
  • Spiriva Respimat is approved to treat COPD in adults and asthma in adults and children ages six years and up. It contains the drug tiotropium bromide in a liquid solution that is taken through an inhaler.

Both forms of Spiriva work by relaxing and opening the airways in the lungs over time. For people with COPD or asthma, this makes breathing easier and helps control symptoms. However, Spiriva is meant to be used as a daily maintenance treatment, not as a rescue inhaler for emergencies. You will still need to use a fast-acting inhaler for emergencies.

Studies show that Spiriva can significantly improve lung function for patients with COPD and asthma. If you are interested in adding Spiriva to your COPD or asthma management plan, speak to your doctor. If prescribed, you can save substantially on costs by purchasing from a reputable online Canadian pharmacy like My Drug Center.

Spiriva is an anticholinergic medication that blocks the effects of acetylcholine in the body. Acetylcholine is a chemical messenger that sends signals between cells and affects functions like airway muscle contraction.

When you inhale Spiriva, it prevents acetylcholine from binding to muscarinic receptors on your airway muscles. This stops the muscles from tightening up and opens your airways (bronchodilation). Spiriva's effects can last up to 24 hours after taking a dose.

Spiriva Side Effects

Spiriva may cause side effects in some people. These side effects depend on whether you’re taking Spiriva for asthma or COPD.

If you take Spiriva for asthma, common side effects include:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinus infection

If you take Spiriva for COPD, common side effects include:

  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Dry mouth
  • Sinus infection

Spiriva Handihaler vs. Respimat

Spiriva comes in two different forms: Spiriva HandiHaler and Spiriva Respimat. Though they contain the same active ingredient, tiotropium bromide, they are delivered in slightly different ways.

  • Spiriva HandiHaler provides the medication in a dry powder capsule form. The capsule is inserted into a special inhaler device, and the powder is inhaled through the mouth. It’s important to note that the capsule should not be swallowed and should only be used with the HandiHaler inhaler. Spiriva HandiHaler is approved to treat both asthma and COPD.
  • Spiriva Respimat dispenses the medication in a slow-moving mist. This can help make inhalation easier for those who have trouble generating enough force to inhale the dry powder from the HandiHaler. Spiriva Respimat is approved for the treatment of COPD.


How long does it take for Spiriva to work?

Spiriva starts working to open your airways within an hour of taking a dose, but don't expect to feel the full effects right away. It can take four to eight weeks of regular use for Spiriva to significantly improve your breathing.

What is Spiriva?

Spiriva is an inhaler that treats the symptoms of COPD and asthma. It opens up your airways and allows air to move in and out of your lungs more freely. Spiriva is a once-daily maintenance medication, meaning you take it daily to keep your airways open, even when you are not actively experiencing symptoms.

Can Spiriva replace my rescue inhaler?

No, Spiriva is not a rescue inhaler. Spiriva is a maintenance treatment to help control asthma and COPD on an everyday basis. It works gradually to open airways and prevent breathing issues from occurring. But Spiriva does not act quickly enough to relieve sudden symptoms.

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