Is there any alternatives to Tiotropium capsules inhalers

I wonder if there are any alternatives to Tiotropium inhalers as there is a shortage in my area. My Dr tried me on a Seabri inhaler but it made me shake too much. He said there were no others but my specialist at hospital said that there were but it was a matter of cost. Does anyone know if this is true?

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13 Replies

  • My husband is on Spiriva (is that the same?) - there did seem to be a shortage but I was able to get them from a large Boots store, the assistant told me that Boots had not suffered any shortages. Please try the BLF helpline. Take care TAD xx

  • I'm sorry I don't know anything about this but I just wanted to say how shocking this is if it is true. If your consultant says there are others why isn't he/she recommending it as necessary to your GP/NHS Trust.

    I am using a drug which is 'off list' but my consultant says is necessary for me. She had to get permission from the local PCT (as was) and once they agreed my GP had to prescribe it, regardless of cost.

    I would ask my consultant which drug he/she would recommend and then ask my GP to supply it.

    It may just be a short term supply problem at your pharmacy and your GP doesn't want to put you onto an expensive drug long term.

    I always keep a month ahead of my need - when I start a new packet I put in my repeat prescription. This means if there is a tempotary shortage the pharmacy has a month to sort it out before I become desparate. I ordered all my Xmas drugs at the beginning of Dec to last me through till end Jan. I shall put my next order in after New Year.

  • Many thanks for you response

  • Hi cancerstinks, can't be much help but just before Christmas I saw my Gp and he said there is one other I can take instead of tiotropium incase it becomes unavailable in future. But I can't recall the name but it sounded very similar in pronunciation nothing like the one you have been given. So it might be worth investigating further online, the one you have would not suit me as I already have a bad benign essential hand tremor, if I find any info will let you know. Good luck

  • I use Respimat after using Spiriva capsules can the doctor give this ? cost available in other area these things I have no answer I know how much I need my own inhaler.

  • I suppose it depends which pharmacy your with, you could shop around as they say and always keep well in front with your prescriptions.

  • That is appalling. Eklira Genuair came out around the same time as Seebri and is also cheaper. In any case, there are other alternatives - but it was only a temporary Spiriva shortage ...

    Obviously they're trying to change us all to the cheapest drugs but your doctor is either deliberately misleading you or not up to date. I'm not sure which is the lesser evil.

    Don't let them get away with it; it's your life and you deserve the best. Grrrrrrr.

  • Following a short spell in hospital my Consultant adjusted my dose of Spireva Respimat from 2 puffs to 1 puff daily, thereby halving the cost. !!! I wonder why.

  • grandadbrian, this is what is happening my nurse and Gp tell me they are trying to reduce steroids, even inhalers, to the lowest dose to keep you well. Of course it makes it cheaper for the NHS too as you say. I was given the option by my practice, so I am trying the lower dose with advice to take more puffs if it doesn't work. Of course if one becomes ill it will defeat the whole issue as we will end up in hospital costing even more to the NHS. Good luck with your change of dosage.I hope mine works too haven't started the new dose yet, still on old inhaler.

  • Hi Katie, I also had a 2 month spell on Eklira from August but asked to go back on Spireva Respimat and was allowed to without argument.

  • That's how it should be, the patient knows what suits them best.

  • I do hope you're ok and managing on the reduced amount but what a nightmare - very worrying.

  • When there was a shortage my pharmacy gave me a new inhaler each time I needed new capsules, seems they were available, cost did not seem to come into it.

    But when I wanted soluble steroids I had to go back to the consultant as my GP practice had been told not to use them, they were 1. not as effective, 2. too expensive, 3. no longer available, etc. etc. Once the consultant said give them there was no problem.

    Cost cutting is happening there is no doubt.

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