Can Spiriva Help With Asthma?

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It’s terrifying not being able to breathe. It’s even more terrifying when you can’t escape and find air to breathe.

This is the reality for asthma sufferers. They can’t remove themselves from the situation and be able to breathe freely again. Their own body is causing the situation, so they can’t get away from it.

Around 1 in 13 people suffer from asthma in the United States. Roughly half of those people have a least one attack in a year. Additionally, about 10 Americans die from asthma per day.

Those are sobering statistics.

The good news is that most cases of asthma are treatable and most asthma attacks are preventable with the right asthma medication. Spiriva is one such medication that may greatly help those suffering from asthma.

Let’s take a closer look.

What is Spiriva?

Spiriva is a bronchodilator made from tiotropium. It is commonly used for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) patients. This can include problems like bronchitis or emphysema.

Before taking this drug, you should make sure your doctor is aware if you have the following conditions:

  • kidney disease
  • narrow-angle glaucoma
  • are allergic to milk products
  • an enlarged prostate or problems urinating
  • are pregnant, nursing, or could become pregnant

Additionally, be sure that your doctor knows if you take medicine for:

  • depression
  • muscles spasms
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • high blood pressure
  • overactive bladder or irritable bowel syndrome

You should also be at least 18 years old before taking Spiriva.

What Does Spiriva Do?

The drug is anticholinergic, which means that it works by blocking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This keeps your system from sending the parasympathetic impulses that cause your muscles to spasm.

In the case of COPD patients, it relaxes the smooth muscles in the lungs. This helps to keep them from spasming and closing the airway.

It is not a fast-acting drug, it takes about 20 minutes for the effects to kick in. Rather, it is designed to take on a set schedule to prevent attacks from occurring.

Even though it works for about 24 hours, a normal dose is usually twice per day. Of course, always stick to your doctor’s recommendation if you are given a different dosage schedule.

How To Use Spiriva

Spiriva comes in capsule form, but you should never take the capsule by mouth. Instead, the capsule goes into a HandiHaler device designed for you to breathe in the medication.

Simply load the pill into the device and close the mouthpiece. Then, press the button on the side to break the capsule and release the powdered medicine inside. You’ll need to breathe in deeply twice to get all the medication.

The capsules come individually sealed, and it’s for a reason. Exposure to air can reduce the effectiveness of the medication and ruin the capsule. Thus if you open a capsule’s package and don’t use it right away you should throw it out.

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As we’ve mentioned Spiriva is not a fast-acting drug. Thus you should not use it for emergency purposes. Your doctor will prescribe you a different drug for use during an attack.

Spiriva should be taken on a regular schedule, usually twice per day. You need to schedule your doses and take them at the same time each day.

If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you don’t remember until you’re already nearing the next dose, skip it. Don’t take a second capsule to make up for the missed dose, just continue on as normal.

Don’t Overuse Spiriva

You should never take more than 2 inhalations in 24 hours otherwise you may experience overdose symptoms. These include:

  • red eyes
  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • stomach pain
  • feeling confused or drowsy

If you think that you may have overdosed call for emergency medical help immediately.

If you get the powder in your eyes, you should call your doctor at once. It can cause blurred vision and even affect your thinking and reactions. For this reason, you should avoid activities like driving that can be dangerous with these functions impaired.

How Can Spiriva Help with Asthma?

Steroid inhalers help many people to effectively control their asthma. However, there are many for whom the treatment doesn’t work as well.

Severent Diskus is commonly prescribed to help keep asthma under control. But there is some concern that this medication may increase the risk of asthma-related death for some people. For these folks, Spiriva may be able to provide a viable alternative.

As we’ve mentioned, Spiriva works by relaxing the smooth muscles in the lungs ad dampening the body’s parasympathetic response. This keeps the body from going into overdrive and shutting down its own ability to receive oxygen.

In clinical trials, researchers compared asthma sufferers taking Spiriva to those taking a placebo. They found that Spiriva is able to improve lung function and reduce the occurrence of asthmatic flare-ups.

Of course, Spiriva isn’t for everyone. You should talk carefully with your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking the drug. But, in many cases, Spiriva can greatly help asthma sufferers control their symptoms and avoid those terrifying attacks.

Next Steps

If you are suffering from asthma, you know how terrifying asthma attacks can be. Chances are, you want to avoid those episodes at all costs.

If your current asthma medication isn’t working, you may want to ask your doctor about Spiriva. The properties of this anticholinergic drug may be just what you need to keep your asthma under control.

Looking for a reliable pharmacy where you can buy your Spiriva medication and accessories? Check out our price comparison tool to find the best deal near you.

About Cary Byrd

eDrugSearch founder, Cary Byrd, has been called an “e-health innovator” by MarketIntellNow, interviewed by top pharmaceutical industry journalists, invited to Matthew Holt’s Health 2.0 Conference and a Consumer Report's health summit, and highlighted on numerous health blogs.


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