Spiriva information and questions

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I realise others may already know the following, but am sending it for those who don't or those who, like me, thought they checked all medication before taking it ... but has just found out she didn't.

The Handi-Halers MUST be replaced about every 12 months:  this info is on the manufacturers' broadsheet sized info sheet, but in small print at the very end and I'd never noticed it, or remembered the rehab people mentioning it either.    I replaced mine about 10 days ago and the difference in my breathing is amazing - last night I danced to rock n roll for longer than I've been able to for years.  Aching a bit today, but it was well worth it!

The second issue is that the manufacturers include a lot of empty capsules in every script:  apparently this has been going on for years, at least in Australia;  complaints have been made but the situation doesn't improve.  I've started saving the empties while I find out what the appropriate Australian authority I should report to:  this company is ripping us off via our script fees and the community as a whole via government subsidies on each script.   I know of no other medication which has this issue.

I'd be very interested to know if the situation is the same in other counttries;  have other people tried to do something about it and what success they had, if any?

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  • Posted

    Thanks Jude! I didn't realise I needed to replace the Handi-haler (been using mine 2 + yrs). I just thought there were a number of duds in the script each time as when you pierce and go to inhale they don't work. 
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    • Posted

      Two separate issues:  I'd been using the handihaler for 3 years without replacing it so it was getting worn out and I wasn't receiving enough of the medication AND there are always several empty capsules in each script.  

      The two issues are totally unrelated!  Apologies if my post wasn't clear, but I really think it was?

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    • Posted

      Hi Jude

      I am a recent user of the product and I also noticed there were a couple that did not actually work, I thought it was just me but now I realise its not, at the price we pay for them in Australia I think it's shocking, in future I will keep the ones that don't work and see who I can get in touch with, thanks for sharing

      Jillibean

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    • Posted

      They're made (or at least distributed) by BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM in NSW:  phone 02 8875 8800.

      When I get around to finding out how to report them to, I will do so and in the meantime I'm saving all the empty ones.   I don't actually pay much bc I have a health care card, but that's not the point:  they're doing a ripoff that maybe I can do something about and I can't resist that temptation!

      I'll put an update here when I find out who to report to:  what do you reckon:  Prob Commonwealth Health Dept, that's where I'll start anyway

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    • Posted

      Yes Jude, your post clear, just my answer to you wasn't! Thanks to your very helpful post I asked for a new Handihaler when I saw the doctor today. And, have been checking the capsules that I thought were duds, empty. Thanks again ~ Sue
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  • Posted

    Hi, I was told by my chemist (UK) to request a new handihaler every 6 months. With regards the empty capsules I read about that somewhere but upto now have not found any.
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    • Posted

      I don't know why the ones in the UK would need to be replaced every 6 months when the manufacturer's info sheet on the Australian website says 12 months ... unless they're different inhalers?   Maybe you could check the manufacturer's info sheet yourself and see what is say in the UK?

      I did point out to them on the phone that if it does in fact need replacing every 12 months it wd be in their own best interests to show that info more prominently so we'd buy more of them.

      You've been luck to not get any empty capsules, or maybe it's only the Australian manufacturer who's so slack on quality control?  It will be interesting to hear from other UK users of the product

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  • Posted

    Hi my info sheet says it can be used UPTO 12 mnths, it was th chemist that said 6 mnths, being a pensioner I dont pay for medication do cost rall has no bearing.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for that info:  I got my first one included in the first script, not free in Australia for pensioners but around $6:  however I had to pay for the second one, which was about $8.

      I'll check what my info sheet says next time I get a script made up for the capsules - I'm sure it said 12 months and not up to ....

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  • Posted

    i have been saying to my copd team about the empty capsuls for a very long time now and they look at you as thow there some thing wrong with you and at one stage i got angry because some one laughted at what i said you can tell when there is no powder in them when you take them but the problem is you cant take another
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    • Posted

      Why can't you take another?  I always do, after all you didn't get a dose of the medication if the capsule was empty and did that awful thing where you feel as if you're trying to inhale deeply through a brick wall.

      That's strange no-one else in your group has noticed it:  maybe they're just not as observant as you are?    I was warned about the capsules by the physio's in my rehab group, with the suggestion that if enough people complained eventually the situation would improve, which obviously hasn't happened yet.

      Stick to what you know to be true:  yeah I know there's often a pirce to pay for doing that as I know to my cost, but the more people do it the better place the world will be.

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    • Posted

      the reson for not taking another as they may have been a small amount of the powder in the capsule so you could be over dosing thats what i was told witch i can understand but alot of people dont take much notice to what they take i have had my breathing problem for 22 years only been on spiriva for last three years dont like it much i wish i never started it and just stuck to my ventolin inhaler
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    • Posted

      I don't get that:  if it's an empty capsule it's like trying to inhale through a brick wall.

      I thought people with asthma could use both?  Spiriva daily as a preventative and ventolin as required if breathless?

      I have emphysema and the improvement in my breathing after I started on Spiriva was amazing:  what problems do you have with it?

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    • Posted

      Hi Cath.  I also mentioned to my COPD nurse tht many of the capsules re empty, and she looked at me as though had gone doo lally!  so pleased I am not alone.  Spiriva....rip off merchants Spiriva!
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    • Posted

      To me, that just proves the value of a forum like this one, where we can share info about what's going on in the real world rather than what we're told SHOULD be happening.   I was told about the empty capsules by a COPD physio at rehab and it was clear a few people in the group had encountered them but by the blank looks had never thought of contacting the company ......   

      Why would they stop ripping us off if we don't complain?  To paraphrase a well known & true saying:  "All it takes for bad companies to continue to rip us off is for good people to do nothing."

      When I've saved up a few more empty capsules (I just found another one) I'll be contacting the Health Dept to make a report.

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