What is Spiriva?
Spiriva is a medication that’s prescribed to treat COPD, a group of conditions that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. There are two types of treatment available. Spiriva Handihaler and Spiriva Respimat. They both contain the same active ingredient, tiotropium bromide. The main difference is the way that they’re both taken.
Spiriva Handihaler is used with a capsule. This capsule is inserted into your Handihaler and pierced, which then releases a powder that you inhale. Spiriva Respimat comes as a powder instead of a capsule, but it’s still inhaled using your inhaler. It’s down to you to decide which form of Spiriva you might prefer to use.
How does Spiriva work?
The active ingredient in both Spiriva treatments is tiotropium, which is a bronchodilator (a substance that relaxes and opens up your airways). The result is that breathing becomes easier, reducing the symptoms of COPD. It can also prevent your condition from worsening and causing further negative effects.
Bronchodilators work by targeting the beta-2 receptor in your lung’s airways. When this receptor is activated the muscles in your airways relax, resulting in easier breathing.
What doses of Spiriva are there?
There are two doses of Spiriva, and they depend on whether you choose the Handihaler or the Respimat. The Handihaler comes in capsules with 18 micrograms of tiotropium. This version of the treatment only needs to be taken once a day. The Respimat version comes in doses of 2.5 micrograms of tiotropium, which is to be taken in two puffs - also once a day.