Spiriva HandiHaler (Page 3 of 7)


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Tiotropium is a long-acting, antimuscarinic agent, which is often referred to as an anticholinergic. It has similar affinity to the subtypes of muscarinic receptors, M1 to M5 . In the airways, it exhibits pharmacological effects through inhibition of M3 -receptors at the smooth muscle leading to bronchodilation. The competitive and reversible nature of antagonism was shown with human and animal origin receptors and isolated organ preparations. In preclinical in vitro as well as in vivo studies, prevention of methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction effects was dose-dependent and lasted longer than 24 hours. The bronchodilation following inhalation of tiotropium is predominantly a site-specific effect.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Cardiac Electrophysiology

In a multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial using tiotropium dry powder for inhalation that enrolled 198 patients with COPD, the number of subjects with changes from baseline-corrected QT interval of 30 to 60 msec was higher in the SPIRIVA HANDIHALER group as compared with placebo. This difference was apparent using both the Bazett (QTcB) [20 (20%) patients vs. 12 (12%) patients] and Fredericia (QTcF) [16 (16%) patients vs. 1 (1%) patient] corrections of QT for heart rate. No patients in either group had either QTcB or QTcF of >500 msec. Other clinical studies with SPIRIVA HANDIHALER did not detect an effect of the drug on QTc intervals.

The effect of tiotropium dry powder for inhalation on QT interval was also evaluated in a randomized, placebo- and positive-controlled crossover study in 53 healthy volunteers. Subjects received tiotropium dry powder for inhalation 18 mcg, 54 mcg (3 times the recommended dose), or placebo for 12 days. ECG assessments were performed at baseline and throughout the dosing interval following the first and last dose of study medication. Relative to placebo, the maximum mean change from baseline in study-specific QTc interval was 3.2 msec and 0.8 msec for tiotropium dry powder for inhalation 18 mcg and 54 mcg, respectively. No subject showed a new onset of QTc >500 msec or QTc changes from baseline of ≥60 msec.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Tiotropium is administered by dry powder inhalation. Some of the pharmacokinetic data described below were obtained with higher doses than recommended for therapy. A dedicated pharmacokinetic study in patients with COPD evaluating once-daily tiotropium delivered from the RESPIMAT inhaler (5 mcg) and as inhalation powder (18 mcg) from the HANDIHALER device resulted in a similar systemic exposure between the two products.


Following dry powder inhalation by young healthy volunteers, the absolute bioavailability of 19.5% suggests that the fraction reaching the lung is highly bioavailable. Oral solutions of tiotropium have an absolute bioavailability of 2-3%. Food is not expected to influence the absorption of tiotropium. Maximum tiotropium plasma concentrations were observed 7 minutes after inhalation.


Tiotropium is 72% bound to plasma protein and had a volume of distribution of 32 L/kg after intravenous administration to young healthy volunteers. Local concentrations in the lung are not known, but the mode of administration suggests substantially higher concentrations in the lung. Studies in rats have shown that tiotropium does not readily penetrate the blood-brain barrier.


The terminal half-life of tiotropium in COPD patients following once daily inhalation of 5 mcg tiotropium was approximately 25 hours. Total clearance was 880 mL/min after intravenous administration in young healthy volunteers. After chronic once-daily dry powder inhalation by COPD patients, pharmacokinetic steady state was reached by day 7 with no accumulation thereafter.


The extent of metabolism is small. This is evident from a urinary excretion of 74% of unchanged substance after an intravenous dose to young healthy volunteers. Tiotropium, an ester, is nonenzymatically cleaved to the alcohol N-methylscopine and dithienylglycolic acid, neither of which binds to muscarinic receptors.

In vitro experiments with human liver microsomes and human hepatocytes suggest that a fraction of the administered dose (74% of an intravenous dose is excreted unchanged in the urine, leaving 25% for metabolism) is metabolized by cytochrome P450-dependent oxidation and subsequent glutathione conjugation to a variety of Phase II metabolites. This enzymatic pathway can be inhibited by CYP450 2D6 and 3A4 inhibitors, such as quinidine, ketoconazole, and gestodene. Thus, CYP450 2D6 and 3A4 are involved in the metabolic pathway that is responsible for the elimination of a small part of the administered dose. In vitro studies using human liver microsomes showed that tiotropium in supra-therapeutic concentrations did not inhibit CYP450 1A1, 1A2, 2B6, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 2E1, or 3A4.


Intravenously administered tiotropium bromide is mainly excreted unchanged in urine (74%). After dry powder inhalation to COPD patients at steady state, urinary excretion was 7% (1.3mcg) of the unchanged dose over 24 hours. The renal clearance of tiotropium exceeds the creatinine clearance, indicating secretion into the urine.

Specific Populations

Geriatric Patients

As expected for all predominantly renally excreted drugs, advancing age was associated with a decrease of tiotropium renal clearance (365 mL/min in COPD patients <65 years to 271 mL/min in COPD patients ≥65 years). This did not result in a corresponding increase in AUC0-6,ss and Cmax,ss values following administration via HANDIHALER device.

Renal Impairment

Following 4-week SPIRIVA HANDIHALER or SPIRIVA RESPIMAT once daily dosing in patients with COPD, mild renal impairment (creatinine clearance 60-<90 mL/min) resulted in 6-23% higher AUC0-6,ss and 6-17% higher Cmax,ss values; moderate renal impairment (creatinine clearance 30-<60 mL/min) resulted in 54-57% higher AUC0-6,ss and 15-31% higher Cmax,ss values compared to COPD patients with normal renal function (creatinine clearance ≥90 mL/min). There is insufficient data for tiotropium exposure in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance <30 mL/min) following inhalation of SPIRIVA HANDIHALER or SPIRIVA RESPIMAT. However AUC0-4 and Cmax were 94% and 52% higher, respectively, in patients with severe renal impairment following intravenous infusion of tiotropium bromide.

Hepatic Impairment

The effects of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of tiotropium were not studied.

Drug Interactions

An interaction study with tiotropium (14.4 mcg intravenous infusion over 15 minutes) and cimetidine 400 mg three times daily or ranitidine 300 mg once daily was conducted. Concomitant administration of cimetidine with tiotropium resulted in a 20% increase in the AUC0-4h , a 28% decrease in the renal clearance of tiotropium and no significant change in the Cmax and amount excreted in urine over 96 hours. Co-administration of tiotropium with ranitidine did not affect the pharmacokinetics of tiotropium.

Common concomitant medications (long-acting beta2 -adrenergic agonists (LABA), inhaled corticosteroids (ICS)) used by patients with COPD were not found to alter the exposure to tiotropium.


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No evidence of tumorigenicity was observed in a 104-week inhalation study in rats at tiotropium doses up to 59 mcg/kg/day, in an 83-week inhalation study in female mice at doses up to 145 mcg/kg/day, and in a 101-week inhalation study in male mice at doses up to 2 mcg/kg/day. These doses correspond to approximately 30, 40, and 0.5 times the recommended human daily inhalation dose (MRHDID) on a mcg/m2 basis, respectively.

Tiotropium bromide demonstrated no evidence of mutagenicity or clastogenicity in the following assays: the bacterial gene mutation assay, the V79 Chinese hamster cell mutagenesis assay, the chromosomal aberration assays in human lymphocytes in vitro and mouse micronucleus formation in vivo , and the unscheduled DNA synthesis in primary rat hepatocytes in vitro assay.

In rats, decreases in the number of corpora lutea and the percentage of implants were noted at inhalation tiotropium doses of 78 mcg/kg/day or greater (approximately 40 times the MRHDID on a mcg/m2 basis). No such effects were observed at 9 mcg/kg/day (approximately 5 times the MRHDID on a mcg/m2 basis). The fertility index, however, was not affected at inhalation doses up to 1689 mcg/kg/day (approximately 910 times the MRHDID on a mcg/m2 basis).

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