06 January 2015
Tiotropium (Spiriva) is an inhaled muscarinic antagonist for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and is available in two forms: the HandiHaler and the Respimat inhaler. The aim of this study was to investigate the handling of and preference for each device immediately after switching from the HandiHaler to the Respimat and 2–3 years after the switch.
The study comprised two surveys. A questionnaire was first administered to 57 patients with COPD (male:female 52:5, mean age 73.6±7.1 years) 8 weeks after switching from the HandiHaler (18 μg) to the Respimat (5 μg). A second similar but simplified questionnaire was administered to 39 of these patients who continued to use the Respimat and were available for follow-up after more than 2 years. Pulmonary function was also measured during each period.
In the first survey, 17.5% of patients preferred the HandiHaler, and 45.6% preferred the Respimat. There were no significant changes in pulmonary function or in the incidence of adverse events after the switch. In the second survey, performed 2–3 years later, the self-assessed handling of the Respimat had significantly improved, and the number of patients who preferred the Respimat had increased to 79.5%.