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    Information about Tiotropium

    Tiotropium uses

    Tiotropium is used in the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    How tiotropium works

    Tiotropium is an anticholinergic medication. It works by relaxing the muscles in the airways and widens the airways. This makes breathing easier.

    Common side effects of tiotropium

    Dryness in mouth, Upper respiratory tract infection, Constipation, Blurred vision, Increased heart rate
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Love Sharma
    PhD (Pharmacology), PGDPRA
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Shilpa Garcha
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    19 Oct 2019 | 04:39 PM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

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    Expert advice for Tiotropium

    • Tiotropium makes breathing easier for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
    • This medicine is for inhalation only. The tablet should not be swallowed.
    • It should be taken at the same time each day.
    • It does not work right away and should not be used to relieve sudden breathing problems. Use your rescue inhaler to control sudden difficulty in breathing. 
    • Dry mouth may occur as a side effect. Frequent mouth rinses, good oral hygiene, increased water intake and sugarless candy may help.
    • Gargle with warm water after each inhalation to avoid any fungal infections in your mouth and throat.
    • Take the first dose under medical supervision as it may cause wheezing or tightening of the airways (bronchospasm) immediately after using.
    • Your doctor may monitor your  blood potassium level regularly while taking this medication.
    • Only small amounts of Tiotropium may get absorbed into the bloodstream after inhalation. Hence, serious side effects are unlikely.

    Frequently asked questions for Tiotropium


    Q. How long does Tiotropium take to work?

    Tiotropium starts working within 30 minutes of taking it and you may start breathing with ease after the first dose. The full benefits will be experienced within about 3 days to a week’s time.

    Q. Is Tiotropium a steroid?

    No, Tiotropium is not a steroid, but it belongs to anticholinergic class of medicines. It works by relaxing the muscles of the small airways, helping them to open and remain open for 24 hours.

    Q. How can Tiotropium help me?

    Tiotropium is a long-acting bronchodilator which opens the air passages and makes breathing easier. Using this medicine daily can help prevent sudden short-term worsening of your breathing problem. Regular use also helps relieve shortness of breath when you have ongoing shortness of breath.

    Q. What should I avoid while taking Tiotropium?

    Use Tiotropium carefully to prevent it from getting into your eyes. If it gets into your eyes, your vision may get blurry and the pupil in your eye may become larger (dilate). If this happens, call your doctor. Tiotropium may also cause dizziness and blurred vision. Avoid driving or using heavy machinery if you experience these side effects.

    Q. How should I take Tiotropium?

    Always take it exactly as directed by your doctor. Tiotropium is meant for inhalation and should not be swallowed. The recommended dose is to inhale the contents of one capsule once daily. Since the effect persists for 24 hours, try to take it at the same time each day for best results.

    Q. How should Tiotropium be stored?

    Store Tiotropium at room temperature 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). Keep it away from heat and cold and do not refrigerate it. Keep it in a dry place and throw away any unused capsules which have been exposed to air.

    Q. How long do I need to take Tiotropium?

    Your doctor may prescribe you to take this medicine for life long. The reason being, COPD is a chronic condition and requires long-term treatment.

    Q. What is the difference between rescue treatment and maintenance treatment?

    Rescue treatment is used to treat the sudden attack of disease. On the other hand, maintenance treatment are medicines that you take daily to help you manage the symptoms of disease. For example, when you have sudden shortness of breath due to COPD, you may be prescribed corticosteroids. Whereas, to help prevent these sudden attacks from happening, you may be prescribed Tiotropium.

    Q. What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

    COPD is a serious lung disease in which the airways become narrow, so the air moves out of your lungs slowly and makes it hard to breathe. Examples of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease include chronic bronchitis (swelling of the air passages leading to lungs) and emphysema (damage to air sacs in the lungs).

    Q. Can I prevent my COPD from getting worse?

    If you smoke, then quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to slow the progression of COPD. In fact, keep taking the medicine as advised by your doctor. Following the prescribed dose for the recommended duration may stop the progression of COPD.

    Content on this page was last updated on 19 October, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)