Spiriva HandiHaler 18 mg
Spiriva is a drug that is used to ease breathing in conditions such as bronchitis when there is restricted ability breathe in patients. Spiriva tablets are to be used in the Handihaler which is an apparatus that actually helps to administer the medicine. The drug contains the active ingredient Tiotropium bromide.
Spiriva is a long-action drug that comes in the form of capsules that have to be inhaled. The device works through out the day with a slow, releasing formula. It is effective an anticholinergic bronchodilator and is only meant as a prescription drug, not for over the counter usage. It is recommended for patients with bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema. In all these respiratory conditions, the airways get narrow causing obstructed breathing. This is due to the blocked mucus, which becomes too tight. Spiriva is therefore used in such cases, with a single spray that works gradually throughout the day.
The tablets have to be placed in the inhaler. The patient needs to manually pierce the capsule and inhale it. There is a distinct fluttering sound when the capsule is rightly placed and the medicine is being drawn correctly from the inhaler. Although only one capsule is required daily, several inhalations (maybe 2 or 3) throughout the day are recommended, depending upon the severity of the conditions. The medicine helps to relax the muscle along the airways to allow the patient to breathe with ease. Patients with COPD or chronic respiratory disorders suffer from wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. All these symptoms are alleviated with Spiriva. The medicine also helps to stabilize patients with such chronic problems, diminishing the chances of a sudden attack or worsening of symptoms.
It must be noted that Spiriva capsules are not meant for oral consumption and on the contrary can cause unwanted complications if consumed in that manner. Moreover, Spiriva capsules should never be exposed to air for long as they can lose their effectiveness. A capsule that has been accidentally exposed to air for long might hence have to be discarded completely.
Spiriva is used once daily in the inhaler. The capsules have to be opened just before they are put into the inhaler. The patient might have to inhale the medicine several times in a day, based on the specific prescription. There should be no changes in the dosage even if there is an overall improvement in the condition, as the chances of a flare up are there. Hence the changes in dosage must only be done with a doctor’s suggestion.
It is quite common for patients to miss their medicines, particularly at a stage when the symptoms of a disorder are reduced or almost gone. Often patients combine meal times with oral consumption medicines, which is known to work. However with medicines such as Spiriva that need to be inhaled the chance of missing a dose is higher. A good idea is to take the dose at a specific time each day. A missed dose can otherwise cause a worsening of respiratory conditions and even result in an bronchial attack.
The patient must never make any increases or decreases in the dosage without consulting the doctor as it can cause side effects. In case of Spiriva also which is a prescription medicine, the dosage needs to be adhered to. Overdosing of Spiriva is indicated by sleepiness, dryness in the mouth, reddening of eyes, constipation or other stomach complaints and a general feeling of uneasiness.
Spiriva is a prescription drug and like all drugs of this category it has some side effects. All prescription drugs will have some side effects in addition to the intended effects on the patient. Moreover different patients might respond differently to a drug, hence close monitoring is necessary, particularly at the initial stage. Further Spiriva needs to be taken only for prevention of an attack in bronchitis; it should not be given when an attack actually takes place. The side effects of Spiriva with Handihaler include cold like symptoms such as: runny nose; soreness in throat; sinus infection; swelling in the nose; nose bleeds
It is best to seek immediate medical help if the patient experiences any side effects.
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