Aclidinium is prescribed to help ease the long-term symptoms of cough, wheeze and breathlessness in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Make sure you know how to use the inhaler properly. Ask your nurse, doctor or pharmacist to show you, if you are unsure.
Use the inhaler regularly, each morning and evening.
|Type of medicine||An antimuscarinic bronchodilator|
|Used for||Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)|
There is also a combination brand called Duaklir® (aclidinium with formoterol)
Aclidinium belongs to the group of medicines known as antimuscarinic bronchodilators. It is given to improve the air flow to your lungs. It works by opening up the air passages in your lungs so that air can flow into your lungs more freely. The inhaler should be used regularly every day.
Aclidinium can be helpful in relieving symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In this condition, the air flow to the lungs is restricted and this causes symptoms such as cough, wheeze and breathlessness. You will have been prescribed aclidinium to help reduce these symptoms over the long term - it is not a rescue treatment for sudden breathlessness.
A brand of aclidinium inhaler (called Duaklir®) also contains another bronchodilator medicine called formoterol. You could be prescribed this combination brand to help reduce the number of inhalers you need to use each day.
Before using an aclidinium inhaler
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start using aclidinium it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you have problems with your prostate gland, or if you have any difficulty passing urine.
- If you have an eye condition called glaucoma.
- If you have a heart condition or an unusual heart rhythm.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines or inhalers. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to use the inhaler
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about aclidinium, diagrams to remind you how to use the inhaler, and a full list of side-effects which you could experience.
- Follow your doctor's instructions carefully and make sure you know how to use the inhaler properly. If you are not sure what to do, please ask your nurse, doctor or pharmacist to show you.
- Use the inhaler twice each day. To do this, remove the green protective cap, and then press and release the green button on the inhaler. The coloured window on the front of the inhaler should now be green. Then, holding the inhaler horizontally, breathe out away from the inhaler and then breathe in deeply through the inhaler. The coloured control window will turn red if you have taken your dose correctly, and if so, replace the cap again. If the control window is still green, this means that you have not taken your full dose, so breathe in deeply through the inhaler again.
- Try to use the inhaler at the same times every morning and evening, as this will help you to remember to use it regularly. If you do forget at your usual time, use it as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
- You should never clean your inhaler with water as this could damage the medicine inside. If you need to clean your inhaler, just wipe the outside with a dry tissue. If your inhaler gets wet you will need to get a prescription for a new one.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Treatment for COPD is usually long-term so you should continue to use your inhaler unless you are advised otherwise by your doctor. If you are currently using any other inhalers or nebulisers to help your breathing, please discuss with your doctor if there are any of these that you should no longer use. This is because you should not use any other antimuscarinic bronchodilator as well as aclidinium.
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can review your condition on a regular basis.
- If you find that your symptoms are becoming worse or that you need to use a reliever (rescue) inhaler more regularly, contact your doctor or nurse for advice straightaway.
- COPD is usually caused by smoking, so the most important treatment is to stop smoking. Smoking causes irritation and damage to the lungs, and will make your condition worse. Speak with your doctor or practice nurse for further advice if you are having difficulty in stopping smoking.
- People with COPD who exercise regularly tend to have improved breathing and a better quality of life. If you are not used to exercise, a daily walk is a good start if you are able to do this. Speak with your doctor about what level of activity will help your breathing and keep you as fit as possible.
- If you are overweight, it may help your breathing if you try to lose weight. This is because being overweight means that you have to work much harder to breathe in to inflate your lungs. A dietician will be able to give you advice on how to eat a healthy diet and lose weight.
- Remember to arrange to have your yearly 'flu jabs' each autumn. This will help protect you against influenza and any chest infections that develop due to it.
Can aclidinium cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the more common ones associated with aclidinium. The best place to find a full list of the side-effects which can be associated with your inhaler, is from the manufacturer's printed information leaflet supplied with the inhaler. Alternatively, you can find an example of a manufacturer's information leaflet in the reference section below. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common aclidinium side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Headache||Drink plenty of water and ask a pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headaches continue, let your doctor know|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids|
|Nose and throat irritation, cough||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
|Feeling sick (nausea)||Eat simple meals - avoid fatty or spicy food|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the inhaler, please speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store aclidinium inhalers
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never use more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have had an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
If you buy any medicines check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading and references
Manufacturer's PIL, Eklira Genuair® 322 micrograms inhalation powder; AstraZeneca UK Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated May 2018.
British National Formulary, 78th Edition (Sep 2019); British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.