Medical professionals across the world are calling for the withdrawal of Spiriva (tiotropium) Respimat mist inhalers. Not currently approved in the U.S., these inhalers are available in 55 countries for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). An analysis of 5 double-blind control trials published in the British Medical Journal found a 52% increase in the risk of death associated with Respimat inhaler use in patients with COPD.

An editorial published in the BMJ calls for the worldwide withdrawal of the tiotropium Respimat mist inhaler, citing the increased risk of cardiovascular death.

Fortunately for Americans with COPD, the FDA did not approve it due to concerns over this side effect. While the Respimat inhaler was not approved, Spiriva HandiHaler, which delivers the same drug in a powdered form, is available in the U.S. On the market since 2004, the Spiriva HandiHaler is commonly prescribed to patients with COPD.

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