Tiotropium is used to control and prevent symptoms (such as wheezing, shortness of breath) caused by ongoing lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD which includes bronchitis and emphysema). It works by relaxing the muscles around the airways so that they open up and you can breathe more easily. Tiotropium belongs to a class of drugs known as anticholinergics. Controlling symptoms of breathing problems can decrease time lost from work or school.
This medication must be used regularly to be effective. It does not work right away and should not be used to relieve sudden breathing problems. If wheezing or sudden shortness of breath occurs, use your quick-relief inhaler (such as albuterol, also called salbutamol in some countries) as prescribed.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet and instruction sheet if available from your pharmacist before you start using tiotropium and each time you get a refill. Learn how to use this inhaler properly. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not swallow these capsules by mouth. Use the special inhaler to inhale the powder in the capsules. Inhale this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Inhale 2 times per capsule to make sure you inhale all of the drug. Do not breathe out into the mouthpiece at any time. Avoid getting this medication into your eyes. It may cause eye pain/irritation, temporary blurred vision, and other vision changes.
If you are using other inhalers at the same time, wait at least 1 minute between the use of each medication.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. This medication works best if used at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day. Do not increase your dose, use this medication more frequently, or stop using it without first consulting your doctor.
Clean the inhaler at least once a month with water. Allow to air-dry fully before using again.
Learn which of your inhalers you should use every day and which you should use if your breathing suddenly worsens (quick-relief drugs). Ask your doctor ahead of time what you should do if you have new or worsening cough or shortness of breath, wheezing, increased sputum, waking up at night with trouble breathing, if you use your quick-relief inhaler more often, or if your quick-relief inhaler does not seem to be working well. Learn when you can treat sudden breathing problems by yourself and when you must get medical help right away.
Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Infrequently, this medication may cause severe sudden worsening of breathing problems right after use. If you have sudden worsening of breathing, use your quick-relief inhaler and get medical help right away.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: difficult/painful urination, fast heartbeat.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: eye pain/swelling/redness, vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night, blurred vision).
A very serious allergic reaction to this product is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before using tiotropium, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or to ipratropium; or to atropine or other belladonna-type drugs; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as milk proteins), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, personal or family history of glaucoma (angle-closure type), difficulty urinating (for example, due to enlarged prostate).
This drug may make you dizzy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dry mouth and constipation. Older men may also be at greater risk for difficulty urinating while using this drug.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: other anticholinergics (such as ipratropium).
This medication will not work and may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store the capsules at room temperature away from light and moisture. Keep the capsules in the blister package until ready to use. Do not store capsules in the inhaler device. Once the blister package for a capsule is opened, that capsule should be used right away. Discard any capsule that has its blister package opened and not used right away. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised November 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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