A few weeks ago I received a letter from my surgery outlining their plan to transfer copd patients currently using Spiriva to the new Elkira Genuair inhaler. This would take effect from the 1st April. I had the option of refusing this change and continuing with the Spiriva, or to at least give Elkira a try and change back later if I didn't like it.
I confess that my initial reaction was ''no way am I giving up Spiriva", but then I had a rethink. At a recent Patient Participation meeting we discussed the effects of the NHS changeover on our surgery. Asked how many of us would be willing to try alternative cheaper 'equivalent' drugs or treatments in order to help the budget go further, every one of us put our hand up . Remembering this I decided that I would give up my Spiriva for a few months and give Elkira a fair try. Both Spiriva and Elkira are expensive, but there is a saving of around £6 per month per patient with Elkira. Elkira is an anti-cholinergic agent and works in the same way as Spiriva.
Yesterday I picked up this months prescription, taking my first dose last night. I have since taken my second dose this morning. Of course I cannot give an assessment of it yet, or compare it against my experience of Spiriva. I will report on that in a couple of months time. I can say that my initial impressions are that on the plus side the inhaler is much more user friendly - no fiddling around with capsules and foil strips. On the down side it doesn't taste nice and I am finding that I have some of the gritty powder residue in my mouth afterwards. Perhaps as I get more used to the inhaler I will get less 'grit'. The biggest difference between Elkira and Spiriva is that Elkira is twice daily.
Well, I will give you my honest full appraisal at a later date. In the meantime, has anyone else been changed over from Spiriva or tried Elkira? If so, how are you finding it?