Skip to main content

FDA Approves Spiriva Respimat

FDA Approves Spiriva Respimat (tiotropium) for the Maintenance Treatment of COPD

Ridgefield, Conn., September 25, 2014 – Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Spiriva Respimat (tiotropium bromide) inhalation spray for the long-term, once-daily maintenance treatment of bronchospasm associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and emphysema and to reduce exacerbations in COPD patients. Boehringer Ingelheim anticipates Spiriva Respimat to be available in January 2015.

Spiriva Respimat provides a pre-measured amount of medicine in a slow-moving mist that helps patients inhale the medicine. Spiriva Respimat was developed to actively deliver medication in a way that does not depend of how fast air is breathed in from the inhaler.

Spiriva Respimat has the same active ingredient as Spiriva HandiHaler (tiotropium bromide inhalation powder), which is the number one branded prescription medication for COPD maintenance in the United States. Spiriva HandiHaler will continue to be available as a treatment option.

“Spiriva Respimat offers a new choice between a mist and dry powder inhaler for tiotropium,” said Sabine Luik, M.D., senior vice president, Medicine & Regulatory Affairs, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “Already approved in 85 countries around the world, Spiriva Respimat reflects our scientific heritage as an industry leader in discovering and developing new treatment options for the COPD community.”

The approval of Spiriva Respimat is based on data from seven clinical trials in which 8,700 patients were treated with Spiriva Respimat. One of these trials, TIOSPIR™, the largest clinical trial conducted to date in patients with COPD, collected data from more than 5,700 patients treated with Spiriva Respimat and nearly 5,700 patients treated with Spiriva HandiHaler.

The most common side effects reported with Spiriva Respimat include sore throat, cough, dry mouth and sinus infection.

“COPD is a chronic condition that requires highly individualized treatment for optimal disease management. It’s essential to have multiple choices available for healthcare providers and patients,” said Stephen Rennard, M.D., Professor, Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep & Allergy, University of Nebraska Medical Center. “Each inhaler option has different features that a healthcare provider and patient might decide are more suitable for their specific situation.”

The Respimat is the platform inhaler for the Boehringer Ingelheim suite of inhaled bronchodilators, including approved and investigational therapies. Spiriva Respimat is the third FDA-approved product delivered by the Respimat, which is the only inhaler available in the U.S. that uses mechanical energy to generate a slow-moving mist to deliver the medication.

About Spiriva Respimat (tiotropium bromide) Inhalation Spray


Spiriva Respimat (tiotropium bromide) Inhalation Spray is a prescription medicine used once every day (a maintenance medicine) to relax your airways and help keep them open. COPD includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both.

Spiriva Respimat also reduces the likelihood of COPD flare-ups (COPD exacerbations).

Important Safety Information for Spiriva Respimat

Do not use Spiriva Respimat if you are allergic to tiotropium, ipratropium, or any ingredient in Spiriva Respimat. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, itching or rash.

Spiriva Respimat is not a rescue medicine and should not be used for treating sudden breathing problems.

Immediate allergic reactions including hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, rash, sudden breathing problems, or itching may occur after taking Spiriva Respimat. If this happens, stop taking Spiriva Respimat and seek immediate medical help.

If your breathing suddenly gets worse while taking Spiriva Respimat, use your rescue medicine. Stop taking Spiriva Respimat and seek immediate medical help.

Tell your doctor if you have glaucoma as this may worsen with Spiriva Respimat. If you have eye pain, blurred vision or vision changes, stop taking Spiriva Respimat and call your doctor right away.

Tell your doctor if you have an enlarged prostate, problems passing urine, or a blockage in your bladder. Spiriva Respimat may make these problems worse. If you have difficulty passing urine or painful urination, stop taking Spiriva Respimat and call your doctor right away.

Tell your doctor if you have kidney problems.

Tell your doctor all the medicines you take, including eye drops. Ask your doctor if you are taking any anticholinergic medicines. Do not take Spiriva Respimat with other anticholinergic medicines because taking them together can increase side effects.

Do not spray Spiriva Respimat into your eyes.

Dizziness and blurred vision may occur with Spiriva Respimat. If you experience these symptoms, use caution when engaging in activities such as driving a car or operating appliance or other machines.

The most common side effects reported with Spiriva Respimat include sore throat, cough, dry mouth and sinus infection.

About COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema. This disease can make breathing harder because less air is able to flow in and out of the lungs. Chronic lower respiratory diseases, which include COPD, are the third leading cause of death in the United States, and approximately 15 million Americans have been told by a healthcare provider that they have COPD.

The most common symptom of COPD is shortness of breath, especially with physical activities. Coughing, with or without mucus production, is also a common symptom of COPD. These symptoms can be misunderstood as signs of aging. COPD is usually associated with progressive airway damage and loss that cause breathing to get more difficult.

Leading respiratory forward

Through research, Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) has developed drug therapies to help patients with lung diseases. Leveraging the company’s cutting edge science and leadership in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), BI is researching new treatment approaches where needs persist. It is the company’s goal to help patients with COPD, asthma, lung cancer, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

About Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation (Ridgefield, CT) and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 142 affiliates and more than 47,400 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

Social responsibility is a central element of Boehringer Ingelheim's culture. Involvement in social projects, caring for employees and their families, and providing equal opportunities for all employees form the foundation of the global operations. Mutual cooperation and respect, as well as environmental protection and sustainability are intrinsic factors in all of Boehringer Ingelheim’s endeavors.

In 2013, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about $18.7 billion (14.1 billion euro). R&D expenditure in the Prescription Medicines business corresponds to 19.5% of its net sales.

Source: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Related articles

Spiriva Respimat (tiotropium bromide) FDA Approval History

More news resources

Subscribe to our newsletter

Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of in your inbox.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.