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There are two parts to this question:

Firstly, has anyone been prescribed Tiotropium for asthma and has it helped (I gather it's usually used for COPD)

Secondly, my consultant today said that this now came with a brand new devise that vaporised the medication delivering it in a similar way to a neb. I went to the hospital pharmacy to get it but they said it was so new they didn't have it in stock and to get a prescription from my GP so the chemist could order one in rather than me having to go back to the hospital again. I did all this and was a bit suspicious that the chemist actually had it in stock (although they're pretty good so I just assumed they were ultra efficient). However, I've just got it home and looked at it and it definitely isn't what my consultant was talking about - what it is, is an older devise (called a HandiHaler) he said the new one replaced. Do I use this till I see my GP on Monday? Use it and contact my resp. nurse at the hospital or not use it? The quantities seem right, just the devise is wrong.

6 Replies

Hi Ratty,

There's recently been a thread regarding Tiptropium - its other name is Spiriva. I'll see if I can find it and bump it up for you.

Regarding the device, it's the same medication but the Handihaler is a dry powder inhaler rather than the Respimat which, as you say, delivers a fine mist. The Respimat is a very new device so I guess I'm not surprised that the pharmacy didn't have it. However I would go back to the pharmacy that gave you the Handihaler, as the scripts are usually very specific as to what device is to be given.




Hi Ratty,

Not 100 percent positive but it sounds like the spiriva (tiotopium) respimat you are talking about. I was started on this in November by my consultant for my asthma. It's a different dose to the handihaler and entirely different device. The respimat is a smaller dose 2.5mcg, I don't know the handihaler dose but its higher. So I would check with your gp/respiratory nurse before using it. Sounds like they have given you the wrong one my respimat works as you described in your post it's grey and contains 60 inhalations. The handihaler is as you say an older device.

I haven't noticed any change since i started it I still can't walk far and still experience alot of symptoms but everyone is different and I hope it helps you.

Hope this helps.

Love sadwheezer


Thanks Cathbear for this and bumping the other thread,

I will see my GP on Monday because I think she prescribed the wrong devise transferring from the hospital prescription to the 'normal' prescriptions - not that I'm surprised, I couldn't make head nor tail of what was written on the form, there were all sorts of crossings out and different doses :s She's in contact with my consultant so it'll be easier that way if she needs to confirm anything with him.

I really need to look at having the new devise because I'm finding the handihaler quite difficult - not the actual inhalation, but the preparation - I have very bad co-ordination and am quite shaky and trying to get the little capsule firstly out of the tear off strip rows and then into the small chamber on the devise (I keep missing - rather like threading a needle!!) is going to be interesting...


Hi Ratty,

The Respimat is much easier to use than the Handihaler - it's a ""twist and click"" kind of operation, a bit like a cross between a turbohaler and an MDI...bit difficult to explain, but it's easier than the Handihaler, anyway..!

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I tried Tiotropium when it first came out as the handihaler and had a bad reaction to it as I can't take atrovent either.

I was amazed as the design too as it is aimed primarily at COPD patients who are mostly of the older generation and may have other dificulties such as arthritis!


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I thought I would update this...

I got the Respimat version for taking the Tiotropium about two weeks ago - much much easier!! It took me a while to get used to taking it - caused me to choke initially, but my asthma nurse at my GP surgery helped me out.

I don't know if it is the Tiotropium or a combination of this and other meds or things just settling down, but finally I feel in control of my asthma again which I haven't since last August. Exercise is still a huge problem but I can definitely do more than I was and walking to the shops doesn't worry me anymore. I'm hopeful that things will continue to improve and I'll be able to get back to swimming as I used to - that would really cheer me up :)

My asthma nurse said that she knew of other patients who had found Tiotropium to really help their asthma too - which does make me wonder why it's licensed for COPD and not asthma?


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