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FDA issues warning regarding Spiriva inhaler

This week the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to victims of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), also described as chronic bronchitis or emphysema, about increased mortality associated with the use of the Spiriva Mist Inhaler.  Experts speculate that the mist inhaler increases the plasma (blood) concentration of Spiriva as a result of the improved drug delivery system.  In any event, a series of five recent studies demonstrated a 52% higher mortality rate among Spiriva mist inhaler users, when compared to patients given only a placebo.  Apparently in this form, Spiriva results in a higher risk of heart attack and stroke--conditions that former smokers, in particular, are likely to run.  Doctors were encouraged to avoid recommending the mist inhaler form of the medication to patients with heart disease.

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