Flare-ups (exacerbations)

You can reduce your risk of COPD flare-ups.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a serious disease, usually caused by long-term damage to the lungs and airways, which makes it difficult to breathe. COPD includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both.

COPD also includes symptom flare-ups or exacerbations which are episodes of new or increasing COPD symptoms, including cough, mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, or tightness in the chest. When you experience a COPD flare-up, you may require treatment beyond your normal medications and, in some cases, flare-ups may require hospitalization. Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce the risk of COPD flare-ups.

What is a COPD symptom flare-up?

Flare-ups are episodes when symptoms like these get worse:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • The presence of phlegm or mucus when you cough
  • A feeling of tightness in the chest

With a flare-up, you may experience:

  • A need for treatment beyond your normal maintenance medication
  • Symptoms requiring hospitalization

If you experience a flare-up, call your doctor. A flare-up may require immediate medical attention. And if your symptoms are severe, call 911 and your doctor.

SPIRIVA can help reduce the likelihood of COPD flare-ups, and helps you breathe easier:

  • Once-daily SPIRIVA, a maintenance medication, helps improve your lung function by keeping your airways open for up to 24 hours. SPIRIVA also helps reduce your risk of COPD flare-ups
  • SPIRIVA will not provide the fast relief you need in the event of a flare-up, and can’t replace your rescue inhaler for treating sudden breathing problems
  • It’s important to talk to your doctor about the separate roles of rescue and maintenance treatments

In addition to adding SPIRIVA to your treatment plan, there are things you can do to improve your overall health: if you smoke, quit, and try to identify your COPD triggers. Do everything you can to avoid respiratory illnesses or infections—talk to your doctor about the flu shot, pneumonia vaccine, and other things you can do and how you can breathe better with SPIRIVA.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
for SPIRIVA RESPIMAT and SPIRIVA HANDIHALER

Do not use SPIRIVA RESPIMAT or SPIRIVA HANDIHALER if you are allergic to tiotropium, ipratropium, atropine or similar drugs, or any ingredient in these medicines.

SPIRIVA RESPIMAT or SPIRIVA HANDIHALER are not rescue medicines and should not be used for treating sudden breathing problems. Your doctor may give you other medicine to use for sudden breathing problems.

SPIRIVA RESPIMAT or SPIRIVA HANDIHALER can cause allergic reactions. Symptoms can include raised red patches on your skin (hives), itching, rash and/or swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing. If you have any of these symptoms, stop taking the medicine and seek emergency medical care.

More Important Safety Information
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION for SPIRIVA RESPIMAT and SPIRIVA HANDIHALER (continued)

Do not use SPIRIVA RESPIMAT or SPIRIVA HANDIHALER if you are allergic to tiotropium, ipratropium, atropine or similar drugs, or any ingredient in these medicines.

SPIRIVA RESPIMAT or SPIRIVA HANDIHALER are not rescue medicines and should not be used for treating sudden breathing problems. Your doctor may give you other medicine to use for sudden breathing problems.

SPIRIVA RESPIMAT or SPIRIVA HANDIHALER can cause allergic reactions. Symptoms can include raised red patches on your skin (hives), itching, rash and/or swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing. If you have any of these symptoms, stop taking the medicine and seek emergency medical care.

Before using SPIRIVA HANDIHALER, tell your doctor if you have a severe allergy to milk proteins.

SPIRIVA RESPIMAT or SPIRIVA HANDIHALER can cause your breathing to suddenly get worse (bronchospasm). If this happens, use your rescue inhaler, stop taking SPIRIVA, and call your doctor right away or seek emergency medical care.

SPIRIVA RESPIMAT or SPIRIVA HANDIHALER can increase the pressure in your eyes (acute narrow-angle glaucoma) which can cause the following symptoms: eye pain, blurred vision, seeing halos or colored images along with red eyes. If you have any of these symptoms, stop taking your medicine and call your doctor right away.

Dizziness and blurred vision may occur with SPIRIVA RESPIMAT or SPIRIVA HANDIHALER. If you experience these symptoms, use caution when engaging in activities such as driving a car, or operating appliances or other machines.

SPIRIVA RESPIMAT or SPIRIVA HANDIHALER can cause new or worsened urinary retention. Symptoms of blockage in your bladder and/or enlarged prostate may include difficulty passing urine and/or painful urination. If you have any of these symptoms, stop taking your medicine and call your doctor right away.

The most common side effects reported with SPIRIVA RESPIMAT in patients with COPD include sore throat, cough, dry mouth, and sinus infection.

The most common side effects reported with SPIRIVA HANDIHALER in patients with COPD include upper respiratory tract infection, dry mouth, sinus infection, sore throat, non-specific chest pain, urinary tract infection, indigestion, runny nose, constipation, increased heart rate, and blurred vision.

Do not swallow SPIRIVA capsules. The contents of the capsule should only be inhaled through your mouth using the HANDIHALER device.

Do not spray SPIRIVA RESPIMAT into your eyes, as this may cause blurring of vision and pupil dilation.

Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions including kidney problems, glaucoma, enlarged prostate, problems passing urine, or blockage in your bladder.

Tell your doctor all the medicines you take, including eye drops. Ask your doctor if you are taking any anticholinergic medicines because taking them together with SPIRIVA can increase side effects. Do not use SPIRIVA RESPIMAT and SPIRIVA HANDIHALER together.

INDICATIONS

SPIRIVA RESPIMAT, 2.5 mcg, and SPIRIVA HANDIHALER are long-term, once-daily, prescription maintenance medicines used to control symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by relaxing your airways and keeping them open. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. SPIRIVA RESPIMAT and SPIRIVA HANDIHALER also reduce the likelihood of flare-ups (COPD exacerbations).

SPIRIVA is not a treatment for sudden symptoms of COPD.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see full Prescribing Information for SPIRIVA RESPIMAT, including Instructions for Use, and full Prescribing Information for SPIRIVA HandiHaler, including Patient Information and Instructions for Use.

The information provided on this site is for general information and educational purposes only. You should always consult a doctor for diagnosing and treating a health or fitness problem, and before using any drug product discussed on this site.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION for SPIRIVA RESPIMAT and SPIRIVA HANDIHALER

Do not use SPIRIVA RESPIMAT or SPIRIVA HANDIHALER if you are allergic to tiotropium, ipratropium, atropine or similar drugs, or any ingredient in these medicines.

SPIRIVA RESPIMAT or SPIRIVA HANDIHALER are not rescue medicines and should not be used for treating sudden breathing problems. Your doctor may give you other medicine to use for sudden breathing problems.

SPIRIVA RESPIMAT or SPIRIVA HANDIHALER can cause allergic reactions. Symptoms can include raised red patches on your skin (hives), itching, rash and/or swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing. If you have any of these symptoms, stop taking the medicine and seek emergency medical care.