Swallowing a Spiriva Capsule: What will Happen?

Short Answer: If you accidentally swallow a Spiriva capsule, you may experience some side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, or urinary retention.

Spiriva is a medication that is used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

It comes in two forms, both are inhaled into the lungs but differently.

Spiriva Respimat is a liquid form of Spiriva that is delivered as a fine mist by an inhaler device called the Respimat.

Spiriva Handihaler is a powder form of Spiriva that is contained in capsules that are pierced by an inhaler device called the Handihaler.

If you accidentally swallow a Spiriva capsule, you may experience some side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, or urinary retention.

This is because it contains tiotropium bromide, which is an anticholinergic drug that blocks the action of a chemical messenger called acetylcholine in the body.

Acetylcholine is involved in many functions such as saliva production, bowel movements, eye focusing, and bladder control.

Tiotropium bromide can reduce the symptoms of asthma and COPD by relaxing the muscles in the airways and increasing the airflow to the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body when taken orally.

It is quite uncommon to swallow a Spiriva capsule due to the design of the Handihaler device, which is meant to prevent the capsule from being inhaled or swallowed.

However, if you do swallow a capsule by mistake, you should drink plenty of water and contact your doctor or poison control center right away.

You may need medical attention depending on the severity of your symptoms.

To avoid accidental swallowing, you should always use the Handihaler device correctly and follow the instructions that come with your medication.

Do not swallow the capsules, as the intended effects on the lungs will not be obtained.

Do not use the capsules with any other inhaler device or interchange them with any other medication.

Finally, remember, Spiriva is a prescription drug that is used to treat asthma and COPD.

It is not a rescue inhaler and it will not work to relieve sudden breathing problems.

You should always have a fast-acting inhalation medication available to treat an attack.

You should also tell your doctor about any other medical conditions or allergies you have before using Spiriva.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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