The FDA has issued a public health advisory highlighting the correct use of Spiriva (tiotropium bromide inhalation powder, from Boehringer Ingelheim) and Foradil (formoterol fumarate inhalation powder, from Schering-Plough) capsules. The FDA and the National Poison Control Center have received many reports of patients swallowing Foradil and Spiriva capsules rather than placing the capsules in the inhalation devices. Reports of ingestions indicate that few patients experienced side effects from the swallowed capsules.

Spiriva is intended for use only in a HandiHaler inhalation device for the long-term maintenance treatment of bronchospasm due to chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Foradil is to be used in the Aerolizer device to treat COPD-associated and exercise-induced bronchospasm, asthma treatment and in the prevention of bronchospasm in reversible obstructive airway disease (including nocturnal asthma).

For more information visit www.fda.gov/cder/drug/advisory/tiopropium_formoterol.htm.