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FDA Issues Health Advisory on Correct Use of Spiriva® and Foradil® Inhalers

The FDA has informed healthcare professionals and consumers of the correct way to use Spiriva (tiotropium bromide, Boehringer Ingelheim) and Foradil (formoterol fumarate, Schering Plough) inhalation powder capsules. The FDA and the National Poison Control Center have received many reports of patients swallowing Spiriva and Foradil capsules rather than placing the capsules in the inhalation devices.

Both products are to be used in the HandiHaler (Spiriva) and Aerolizer (Foradil) devices to deliver the medicine to the lungs to improve breathing in patients with asthma, and in individuals affected by chronic obstructive lung disease and bronchitis. Both products will not treat a patient's breathing condition if the contents of a capsule are swallowed rather than inhaled.

Healthcare professionals should discuss with patients how to correctly use the Spiriva HandiHaler or Foradil Aerolizer. Read the complete 2008 MedWatch Safety Summary, including a link to the FDA's Public Health Advisory regarding this issue at: http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2008/safety08.htm#Spiriva