Meds and you

27 September 2013

Tiotropium

Tiotropium is a bronchodilator.

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Tiotropium is the active ingredient of Spiriva capsules for inhalation (Nappi code: 702523-006) and Spiriva capsules for inhalation (Nappi code: 702526-003).

 

General information

Tiotropium is a bronchodilator. Bronchodilators are drugs that relax the muscles around the airways, helping the airways to open up, so making it easier to breathe.

 

In South Africa tiotropium is registered for the long-term treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

 

Tiotropium takes longer to start working compared to some other bronchodilators (its effects last longer than that of most of the others, though). Because of this, tiotropium is not the ideal drug for treating acute asthma attacks - instead, it should be used regularly each day to keep the airways open and help prevent breathing difficulties.

 

How does tiotropium work?

Tiotropium blocks the effect of a chemical called acetylcholine, which causes narrowing of the airways. By doing this, the muscle around the airways relaxes and the airways open up, making breathing easier.

 

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 3

Available as: tiotropium is available as inhalation capsules.

What does it do? Tiotropium widens/opens the airways to make breathing easier.

Overdose risk: low

Dependence risk: low

Is tiotropium available as a generic? no

Is tiotropium available on prescription only? yes

 

User information

Onset of effect: within 5 minutes

Duration of action: up to 24 hours

Stopping this medicine: do not stop treatment with this drug without consulting your doctor. The original symptoms may recur.

 

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

 

   - you have glaucoma

   - you have an enlarged prostate

   - you have been diagnosed with bladder neck obstruction

   - you have a kidney disorder

 

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children under the age of 18 years.

The elderly: o special precautions need to be taken.

Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be taken.

Alcohol: no special precautions need to be taken.

 

Possible side effects

 

 

 Side effect  Frequency    Consult your doctor  
    Common Rare       Only if severe  In all cases 
dry mouth x   x  
dry throat x   x  
constipation x   x  
blurred vision   x   x
headache   x x  
urinary retention   x   x

Interactions

Drug interactions

 

 

atropine         possible increase in tiotropium's side effects           
ipratropium        possible increase in tiotropium's side effects

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults: one capsule for inhalation once daily, at the same time each day.

 

 

 

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only.

 Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 

 

 
 

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