FDA: Don't swallow inhaler capsules
Respiratory disease medications Spiriva and Foradil capsules should be used with the intended inhalation devices and not swallowed, federal health officials warned on Friday.
These drugs were developed to facilitate breathing in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
But the Food and Drug Administration said it has received several reports of the capsules being swallowed. The agency warned that these products will only properly assist breathing if inhaled through the Spiriva HandiHaler or Foradil Aerolizer, which were designed to deliver these drugs.
The agency indicated that not many of the patients who swallowed the capsules reported side effects.
Spiriva was developed by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., which co-markets it with Pfizer Inc. Foradil is manufactured by Novartis AG and marketed in the United States by Schering-Plough Corp.
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