Spiriva Respimat is an add on therapy for patients who have uncontrolled asthma. It is approved for patients aged 12 and up who are already taking an inhaled corticosteroid or an inhaled corticosteroid plus a long acting beta-agonist, such as Advair, Dulera, Symbicort or Breo.
Spiriva Respimat (tiotropium) can be used as add-on therapy for patients whose asthma is not already well controlled with the medications they are already using. It is in the anticholinergic category, it is also used for patients who have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis or emphysema).
Spiriva Respimat should not be used as a stand alone medication but only in addition to an inhaled steroid, if the patient is not already well controlled. It has been shown to improve lung function, reduces the risk of exacerbations in adult patients.
Many asthma patients are already using high doses of inhaled steroids in combination with a long acting beta agonist and are still having frequent asthma exacerbations. Spiriva Respimat can be used as an add on therapy for these patients. This may be an easier/less expensive alternative to use than some of the newer biological medications such as Cinqair, Nucala or Xolair. Those medications can cost several thousand dollars a month.
Many asthmatic patients also have a combination of asthma and COPD so using an anticholinergic medication such as Spiriva Respimat can be a helpful alternative to try. Other anticholinergic inhalers that are available are, Atrovent HFA (ipratropium bromide), Incruse Ellipta (umeclidinium), Tudorza Pressair (aclidinium bromide inhalation powder) and Combivent, which is a combination of ipratropium bromide and albuterol.
We previously discussed Tiotropium in a previous post and discussed its efficacy.
Side effects of Spiriva Respimat are pharyngitis, sinusitis, bronchitis and headaches. Speak to your pulmonary doctor or allergy doctor if you feel that your asthma is not well controlled and he or she can help determine if you can benefit from any add on therapy such as Spiriva Respimat.