New Spiriva Inhaler Now Available

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Spiriva (tiotropium bromide) is now available as a Respimat inhaler in addition to the original Handihaler formulation.

Although this may come as a surprise—why would we need a new version of Spiriva?—it is not the first time we have seen something like this from the pharmaceutical manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim. For example, before the original Combivent (ipratropium bromide and albuterol) inhaler was discontinued, it was also available in two formulations: the new Respimat and the original aerosol inhaler.

What is Spiriva Respimat used to treat?

Like the original Spiriva Handihaler, Spiriva Respimat is indicated for the maintenance treatment of COPD. Spiriva contains an anticholinergic—tiotropium bromide—which works to relax your airways and help keep them open.

How is Spiriva Respimat taken?

The recommended dosage for Spiriva Respimat is two inhalations (5 mcg each), once daily.

What is unique about the Respimat device?

The Respimat from Boehringer Ingelheim is a relatively new device that provides a pre-measured amount of medicine in a slow-moving mist to help you inhale the medicine.

The Respimat was developed to actively deliver medication in a way that does not depend on how fast you breathe in the air from the inhaler.

How is Spiriva Respimat supplied?

The Spiriva Respimat inhaler is available with 30 or 14 doses, which is equal to 60 or 28 puffs of medication.

Will the Spiriva Handihaler be discontinued?

For the time being, the Spiriva Handihaler will continue to be available.

What other medications are available with a Respimat?

In addition to Spiriva, Combivent and Striverdi (olodaterol) are also available in Respimat devices.

Is there an advantage to using the Respimat device?

Yes. Advantages to using the Respimat over the traditional Handihaler include:

The Respimat is also the first inhaler available in the US that uses an actual spring force to deliver the medication, rather than a propellant.

All of this means the Respimat may be easier to use if you are new to using an inhaler or have weak inhalations.

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