When you are suffering from COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Spiriva is a drug that is widely recommended. It is the brand name for tiotropium, which is advised for patients suffering from bronchitis or asthma as well. This medicine helps in relaxing the airways so that you can breathe more comfortably. But for those suffering from bladder obstructions, enlarged prostate, and narrow-angle glaucoma, this may not be the best treatment method for COPD. The good news is that there are many Spiriva alternatives available these days to help you out. So, first take a look at why Spiriva might not be the best choice for COPD.
Risks and side effects of taking Spiriva
You can’t use Spiriva as rescue inhalers. These are drugs made for long term treatment and does not provide any immediate remedy. So using these as rescue inhalers will not bear any effect and may even prove to be dangerous for your health. Several patients under Spiriva treatments have complained of memory loss and other memory related problems.
Other common side effects include dry mouth, severe constipation, upper respiratory tract infection, sore throat, cold symptoms, sinus infection, worsened breathing problems, chest pain, irregular heart rhythms, and palpitations. Joint pains and visual problems are rare side effects. So here’s how Spiriva alternatives can help.
- Albuterol: Also known as ProAir, Ventolin or Proventil, this drug can effectively reduce chest tightness and wheezing, which are signs of COPD. This medicine relaxes the airways but might cause side effects like muscle pain, dry mouth, and sleep problems. It might be administered to people with diabetes and those suffering from seizures.
- Symbicort: This drug too prevents bronchospasm in COPD patients and is a combination of budesonide and formoterol fumarate. Administered usually by aerosol inhalation, it relaxes airway muscles and reduces inflammation. It might cause side effects like back pain, nausea, headache and sore throat.
- Advair: Used to alleviate tightness in chest and breathing problems, this medicine is a combination of fluticasone and salmeterol. Like other Spiriva alternatives, this drug lessens inflammation in airways and relaxes the muscles. It comes in a powder form that has to be inhaled but can cause a sore throat, stomach pain and sinus pain as side effects.
Since all Spiriva alternatives come with certain side-effects, it is best to consult a physician before you start taking any medicine. He or she will be able to guide you best, depending on your health condition and any existing medications.