Doctors need to be reminding their patients about possible confusion with asthma medication, which could put people’s health in danger. The agency says that the asthma medications Spiriva and Foradil both have the potential to be administered incorrectly. While the mistake does not do direct harm to the person as a result of ingesting the drugs, it also does not help their respiratory condition as the medications are intended to do.
The mistake, say FDA officials, as that patients may mistakenly swallow capsules that are intended to be put into an inhaler and released in that way. This type of inhaler, a metered dose inhaler (or MDI) is different from the more widespread aerosol inhaler. Because the doses are encapsulated and need to be inserted into the inhaler by the patient, this is what allows for confusion.
The capsules may look similar to those taken by mouth, according to the FDA. So far, reports have not indicated that the ingestion was very harmful to most people. However, swallowing Spiriva or Foradil does not do anything to help the asthma condition. It is important, therefore, for doctors to remind their patients to insert the capsules into the inhaler in order to properly administer the medication.