Real SPIRIVA HandiHaler stories

SPIRIVA HandiHaler can help people with COPD breathe better.

If you have COPD, you're not alone. In the United States, an estimated 14.8 million people have COPD—and another 12 million may be living with undiagnosed COPD.

Over the last decade, millions of people have been prescribed SPIRIVA HandiHaler.

We asked real COPD patients about their experiences with SPIRIVA HandiHaler. Below, read what Madalene, Mary, and Donna had to say about how SPIRIVA HandiHaler helps them breathe better. Then talk to your doctor and see if SPIRIVA HandiHaler is right for you.

Madalene Madalene's story "If you can't breathe, you can't do anything" Madalene went to her pulmonologist when coughing spells started waking her up at night. The doctor diagnosed COPD and suggested SPIRIVA HandiHaler, but Madalene didn't think it was necessary yet. When her condition didn't improve, a discussion with a nurse made her change her mind. The nurse told Madalene to think of her lungs as a tree, and that using the SPIRIVA HandiHaler inhaler is what allows the branches to open up and let the air come in. Madalene is "really satisfied" with how SPIRIVA HandiHaler makes her feel, and she said she started feeling better after just a few days of starting the medication.

Mary Mary's story "I regret not starting SPIRIVA right away" Mary realized her breathing trouble was a problem when she couldn't keep up with her grandson playing basketball. Even after being diagnosed with COPD, she was hesitant to start treatment.But when she woke up with tightness in her chest and couldn't catch her breath, she thought it was time for something to change. Now that SPIRIVA HandiHaler is a part of Mary's daily routine, she feels like she can breathe again.

Donna Donna's story "I take it in the morning before anything else, and I feel opened" Donna had trouble breathing for about a year before she was diagnosed with emphysema related to COPD. After that, she said it took about two more years to find all the right answers. It was a television commercial that inspired Donna to ask her doctor about SPIRIVA HandiHaler. Since she got a prescription for SPIRIVA HandiHaler and began daily treatment, Donna says she’s "in a much better place."

What is your story?

Learn more about what COPD is—and isn't—and how SPIRIVA HandiHaler can help.


Do not use SPIRIVA HandiHaler if you are allergic to tiotropium, ipratropium, atropine or similar drugs, or any ingredient in this medicine.

SPIRIVA HandiHaler is not a rescue medicine and should not be used for treating sudden breathing problems. Your doctor may give you other medicine to use for sudden breathing problems.

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 get immediate medical help.

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

SPIRIVA HandiHaler can cause your breathing to suddenly get worse (bronchospasm). If this happens, stop taking your medicine, use your rescue inhaler and call your doctor right away or go to the nearest emergency room.

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 HandiHaler can increase side effects.

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.

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.

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

The most common side effects with SPIRIVA HandiHaler 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 use your HandiHaler device to take other medicines.


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

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 additional Important Safety Information on the previous page. Please see full Prescribing Information, 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.