Benefits of COPD maintenance treatment

Maintenance and rescue treatments—you may need both.

A maintenance inhaler like SPIRIVA can't replace your rescue inhaler, but it can help you breathe better—and it may mean using your rescue inhaler less often.

Long-acting maintenance treatment with SPIRIVA

  • Helps you breathe better continuously when taken every day
  • Works for up to 24 hours with just
    one daily dose
  • Helps reduce your risk of flare-ups (also called exacerbations)
  • SPIRIVA is not a rescue inhaler and should not be used for sudden breathing problems

Rescue treatment

  • Taken at times when you experience worsening symptoms
  • Lasts only 4-6 hours after a single dose
  • Helps relax your airways so you can catch your breath quickly

Your doctor may prescribe a rescue inhaler to treat sudden breathing problems. Rescue inhalers generally work quickly to relax the muscles in the airways so you can breathe better.

But a maintenance medicine like SPIRIVA, taken regularly once a day, can help by opening airways and keeping them open to make breathing easier. SPIRIVA can also help reduce flare-ups.

If you find yourself using a rescue inhaler more often than usual, you should consider a maintenance treatment. Talk to your doctor to see if steroid-free SPIRIVA is right for you.

Ask your doctor if SPIRIVA could be right for you.

Learn how COPD treatment could help you.

Learn how COPD treatment could help you.

SPIRIVA can help COPD patients breathe better.


Do not use Spiriva® HandiHaler® (tiotropium bromide inhalation powder) if you are allergic to tiotropium or ipratropium (e.g., Atrovent®) or any of the ingredients in SPIRIVA. If your breathing suddenly worsens, your face, throat, lips, or tongue swells, you get hives, itching or rash, stop taking SPIRIVA and seek immediate medical help.

SPIRIVA HandiHaler is not a rescue medicine and should not be used for treating sudden breathing problems.

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

If you have vision changes or eye pain or if you have difficulty passing urine or painful urination, stop taking SPIRIVA and call your doctor right away.

Tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, problems passing urine or an enlarged prostate, as these may worsen with SPIRIVA. Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems or are allergic to milk proteins. Ask your doctor if you are not sure. Also discuss with your doctor all the medicines you take, including eye drops.

The most common side effect with SPIRIVA is dry mouth. Others include constipation and trouble passing urine. For a complete list of reported side effects, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Do not let the powder from the SPIRIVA capsule get into your eyes.

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

Read the Patient Information and the step-by-step Instructions for Use for SPIRIVA before you use your inhaler.


Spiriva® HandiHaler® (tiotropium bromide inhalation powder) is a prescription medicine used once each day (a maintenance medicine) to control symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by relaxing your airways and keeping them open. COPD includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both.

SPIRIVA HandiHaler also reduces the likelihood of flare-ups and worsening of COPD symptoms (COPD exacerbations).

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

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


The tips contained on this site convey general information and are not intended to be, nor should they be used as, a replacement for the advice of a licensed physician. Your doctor knows your specific condition. As with all things medical, you should talk to your doctor before you start any treatment, exercise, diet, or other lifestyle change.