HandiHaler Technique Checklist (SpirivaŽ HandiHaler)
About Your Medicine:
Tiotropium bromide (or Spiriva®) is a medicine used to help people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It helps you to breathe easier by opening the airways. Because each dose lasts for 24 hours, it only needs to be taken once a day. It is best to use it in the morning. People who use Spiriva® may still need to use other medicine(s) to help their breathing. Spiriva® contains 18mcg of the medicine in each capsule. The capsule is not swallowed. Instead, the dry powder in the capsule is inhaled using a special device called the HandiHaler. No other medicine should be placed in the HandiHaler. Tiotropium bromide capsules should only be given with the HandiHaler.
Side effects to report to your doctor right away
- Trouble breathing or worse breathing
- Skin rash
- Rapid heart rate
Side effects that are more common
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty urinating
- Respiratory tract infection
How long do I have to use tiotropium bromide (Spiriva®)?
Before starting this treatment, your doctor will want to know about your lung function using breathing tests called PFTs. This will help your doctor compare how well you are doing before and after the treatment and decide if you should
stay on the medicine. If you are doing better on the tiotropium bromide than you were without it, the doctor will want you to stay on it. People who do well often continue to use it daily. If you stop using it, the benefit of the drug will begin to go away within one day and be completely gone within one week.
The HandiHaler inhalation device
1. Dust Cap
4. Piercing button
Proper use of your Spiriva® HandiHaler
1. Pull open the dust cap and mouthpiece of the HandiHaler by pulling it upwards. Then open the mouthpiece.
2. Remove the capsule from the blister card. Six capsules are packaged in each blister card. The blister cards are perforated in the middle.
3. Tear the card along the perforation.
4. Carefully open the blister cavity by peeling back the aluminum foil. Do not peel the foil back to expose more than one capsule per day. The capsule should be removed from the blister pack just before using it. Remove the capsule from the blister pack.
5. Place the capsule in the center of the chamber.
6. Close the mouthpiece firmly until you hear it click.
7. Hold the HandiHaler device with the mouthpiece pointed upright, and press the green piercing button on the side in completely. This button makes holes in the capsule and allows the medication to be released when you breathe in.
8. Breathe out completely. Please do not blow out into the HandiHaler because it may clog the HandiHaler.
9. Raise the HandiHaler to your mouth and close your lips tightly around the mouthpiece. Keep your head up and breathe in slowly until your lungs feel full. Once your lungs are full, you should hold your breath as long as you can. You should hear the capsule vibrate when you are breathing in. When you have inhaled completely, hold your breath as long as possible.
10. Remove the HandiHaler from your mouth, and resume normal breathing.
11. Repeat steps 9-11 to be sure that you breathe in all of the medicine.
12. Open the mouthpiece, tip out the capsule, and dispose of it in the trash.
13. Close the HandiHaler, and store it with your capsules.
14. Take a Spiriva® dose each morning for best results.
Cleaning the HandiHaler
The HandiHaler should not need to be cleaned with normal use. You will receive a replacement monthly. If you do need to clean the HandiHaler, follow these steps.
1. Open the dust cap, mouthpiece, and base.
2. Rinse all parts with warm water. Do not use soap or cleaners, or place in the dishwasher.
3. Shake out excess water. Let the HandiHaler dry on a clean paper towel for 24 hours.
- Do not exhale or blow into the HandiHaler.
- Do not swallow Spiriva® capsules.
- Do not store unused capsules in the HandiHaler.
- Do not get Spiriva® powder in your eyes.
- Store Spiriva® capsules at room temperature, Keep away from extreme heat or moisture.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 07/12/2011
Copyright © 07/12/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6135
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