Spiriva (Tiotropium) is used to control and prevent symptoms (such as wheezing, shortness of breath) caused by ongoing lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD which includes bronchitis and emphysema). It works by relaxing the muscles around the airways so that they open up and you can breathe more easily. Tiotropium belongs to a class of drugs known as anticholinergics. Controlling symptoms of breathing problems can decrease time lost from work or school.
This medication must be used regularly to be effective. It does not work right away and should not be used to relieve sudden breathing problems. If wheezing or sudden shortness of breath occurs, use your quick-relief inhaler (such as albuterol, also called salbutamol in some countries) as prescribed.