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Spiriva Handihaler

The Spiriva Handihaler is used to manage symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). With the long-term and regular use of the Spiriva Handihaler, patients can improve symptoms of lung disorder such as cough, excessive mucus production, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. This inhalation medicine is for long-term use and does not work quickly enough to treat a bronchospasm attack. To alleviate sudden and severe symptoms of COPD, use your emergency inhaler instead.

How Does the Spiriva Handihaler Work?

The Sprivia Handihaler contains tiotropium bromide, an anticholinergic drug with properties that help prevent the lung's airways from narrowing. Due to these beneficial effects, the Spiriva Handihaler is often prescribed to COPD patients with bronchitis or emphysema.

The Spiriva Handihaler contains capsules and a Handihaler device that administers the medicine as a dry inhalation powder. Each puff of the Spiriva Handihaler administers 18 mcg of the medication. The tiotropium in this inhalation therapy blocks certain receptors in the muscles of your airways, stopping acetycholine from narrowing these airways, ultimately making it easier to breathe. [1]

A generic version of the Spiriva Handihaler is available, called the tiotropium bromide inhaler. This generic version is only available online through a Canadian pharmacy like My Drug Center. This is because Spiriva is still only available as a brand-name version in the United States due to patent restrictions. Since generic Spiriva will not be sold at your local pharmacy for some time, My Drug Center can help you go generic in the meantime.

What is the Tiotropium Bromide Inhaler?

The tiotropium bromide inhaler uses the exact same active ingredient as brand-name Spiriva Handihaler, just at a fraction of the cost. Because generic Spiriva uses the same active ingredient, it also delivers the same therapeutic effect as its brand-name counterpart. The tiotropium bromide inhaler comes in the same dosage strength as well, so there will be no obstacles in your treatment if you want to switch from brand-name to generic Spiriva. Going the generic route can help you save significantly while having the peace of mind that you are getting the same therapeutic benefits.

Spiriva Dosage

The Spiriva Dosage involves Spriva capsules that are administered through the handihaler device. These capsules should not be swallowed or they will not have any of the intended effects on your airways. As mentioned above, both brand-name and generic Spiriva comes in one dosage strength: 18 mcg. However, how many puffs you take with each use will depend on your condition. Always follow your doctor's dosing directions and avoid using the Spiriva Handihaler more than once every 24 hours.

Spiriva 18 mcg

When you see that the Spiriva Handihaler comes in a dosage strength of 18 mcg, it means that this inhalation device administers 18 micrograms of medicine per inhalation. The Spiriva Handihaler is only approved to treat COPD, not asthma. Generally, doctors recommend taking two inhalations of Spiriva 18 mcg per use, once daily. This dose is specifically designed to reduce COPD-related exacerbations such as bronchospasm. As such, this dose is used as a maintenance therapy. [2] Since Spiriva is a long-term medication, regular use is necessary for Spiriva to be safe and effective.


  1. [2]  Benjamin J. Delgado; Tushar Bajaj. Tiotropium - StatPearls

Spiriva Side Effects

The Spiriva Handihaler may cause common side effects such as:

  • Muscle pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nosebleed
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • An upset stomach
  • Cold symptoms, including sneezing and sore throat

Difficulty urinating, painful urination, and a fast heartbeat are severe side effects of this medication. If any of these occur, seek help from a medical professional right away.


Several other drugs may affect the safety and efficacy of the Spiriva Handihaler. For example, antidepressants, cold medicine, other bronchodilators, and medicine to treat Parkinson's disease may interact with tiotropium bromide. Talk to your doctor for a complete list of Spiriva drug interactions. If you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, speak to your doctor prior to starting treatment.


What is the Spiriva Handihaler?

The Spiriva Handihaler is an inhaler used to treat COPD. The device uses capsules of medicine and administers dry inhalation powder with each puff. The Spiriva Handihaler is the brand-name version of this medication. A generic version is available on My Drug Center called the tiotropium bromide inhaler.

What is the Spiriva Handihaler used for?

The Spiriva Handihaler is approved for treating COPD and its associated conditions, including emphysema and bronchitis. Studies show that the Spiriva Handihaler helps prevent exacerbations in COPD patients and significantly lowers the rate of health complications.

What does tiotropium bromide do in the lungs?

Once inhaled, tiotropium bromide begins blocking certain chemicals in the body from acting on the receptors in the airways. When this process occurs, the airways in the lungs are prevented from narrowing. As a result, symptoms subside.

How do I use the Spiriva Handihaler?

Your doctor will teach you how to use this device the first time. Follow your doctor's directions for using Spiriva Handihaler for best effects.

When should I use the Spiriva Handihaler?

This inhaler may be used at any time of the day unless your doctor directs otherwise. For best results, take Spiriva at the same time each day.

What are the common side effects of the Spiriva Handihaler?

This inhaler device may cause side effects like belching, bladder pain, chills, body aches, and congestion. Ask your doctor for a complete list of Spiriva side effects.

How much does the Spiriva Handihaler cost?

The Spiriva Handihaler is a tier 3 drug in the United States, meaning it may be expensive, especially without insurance. At your local pharmacy, the Spiriva Handihaler can cost in the high hundreds. You can cut costs considerably by using a Canadian pharmacy like My Drug Center where a generic option is available.

Can I use the Spiriva Handihaler for asthma symptoms?

No. The Spiriva Handihaler is approved for treating COPD only. Also, this inhaler is not for alleviating symptoms of a bronchospasm. For emergency use, rely on your quick-relief inhaler instead.

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