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Tiotropium is used to treat lung diseases such as asthma and COPD (bronchitis, emphysema). It must be used regularly to prevent wheezing and shortness of breath. 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 Instruction Sheet for directions on the proper use of this medication. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Follow the instructions for test sprays in the air if you are using the inhaler for the first time or if you have not used it for more than 3 days or for more than 21 days. Make sure to spray away from the face so that you do not get the medication into your eyes. A slow-moving mist is a sign that the inhaler is working properly.
Inhale this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 sprays once daily. Do not inhale more than 2 sprays in 24 hours.
Avoid getting this medication into your eyes. It may cause eye pain/irritation, temporary blurred vision, and other vision changes. Therefore, when using the inhaler, put your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.
Rinse your mouth after using the inhaler to prevent dry mouth and throat irritation.
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 to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day.
Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
Clean the mouthpiece of the inhaler at least once a week as directed.
When this medication is used to treat asthma, it may take 4 to 8 weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.
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.
Dry mouth and dizziness may occur. If either of these effects persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: difficulty urinating, painful urination.
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.
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 drug 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.
Before using tiotropium, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to ipratropium; or to atropine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, 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: personal or family history of glaucoma (angle-closure type), difficulty urinating, enlarged prostate, kidney disease.
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 men may 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.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. The inhaler should be thrown away when it becomes locked (which means that all the medication is used up) or 3 months after putting the cartridge in the inhaler, even if there is medication left in the cartridge. 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.
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, atropine).
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center 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.
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.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as lung function tests) should be done while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments.
Avoid substances that can worsen breathing problems by causing irritation or allergic reaction, such as smoke, pollen, pet dander, dust, and mold.
If you are using this medication to treat asthma, learn to use a peak flow meter, use it daily, and promptly report worsening breathing problems (such as readings in the yellow/red range, increased use of quick-relief inhalers).
Because the flu virus can worsen breathing problems, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should have a flu shot every year.