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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Stiolto – A Brief Explanation

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What is Stiolto used for?

Stiolto is a famous brand name prescription medicine that is in use for treating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease( COPD) daily. COPD is the group of diseases that are related to lungs and esophagus like bronchitis and emphysema. It is strictly not used for asthma. 

What does Stiolto contain?

This drug is strong and sturdy, which has to be taken every day in the prescribed quantity. It contains two highly effective and strong components: 

  • tiotropium of LAMAs ( long-acting anticholinergics)
  • Olodaterol of LABAs( long-acting beta2-agonists)

This medicine needs to be inhaled through an inhaler twice a day. One dose of Stiolto has 5 mcg, which contains 2.5 mcg of tiotropium and 2.5 mcg of Olodaterol. 

How effective is Stiolto?

Stiolto is more efficient in improving lung functionality than an individual intake of tiotropium or Olodaterol separately. According to the results of research, by the end of 24 weeks of treatment, there is a tremendous improvement in the FEV1 ( forced expiratory volume in one sec) of the patient. 

Stiolto increases the amount of air pushed out by the lungs(FEV1) by 2 times. FEV1 is directly proportional to good airflow. But intake of Stiolto couldn’t reduce the rate of exacerbations (flare-ups) as much as the individual intake of tiotropium or Olodaterol can. 

Is a generic form of Stiolto available?

No, Stiolto does not come in generic form. It has two drugs in it, the mixture of tiotropium and Olodaterol, and neither of the drugs comes in generic form.

How to take the drug Stiolto?

This drug needs supervision by the doctor. It is essential to consult a doctor and get a suitable dose of this medicine. You can take medicine through an inhaler, which is called the Respimat. You get a Respimat cartridge that contains the drug, and it has inserted into the inhaler before taking it. The cartridge contains 30 doses, which make 60 puff of 5 mcg of Stiolto.

The dose is limited to twice a day, and each dose contains 5mcg of both the drugs. This drug is ideal for treating COPD, and it requires daily treatment. It is a must to take the doses on time, and in case if one misses the dosage, one must take it as soon as one recalls about it. Or if it is already time for the next dose, take only one dose. No two doses should be taken within 24 hours. Intake of more doses can increase side effects and may stop working also. 

Does Stiolto have any side effects?

This drug is powerful and influential in the body. It can cause both mild and severe side effects, depending on how the body reacts to the drug. In the case of significant side effects, it is imperative to contact your doctor as soon as possible. 

Mild common side effects:

  •  Cough
  • Common cold 
  • Back pain 
  • Body pain 

Most of these side effects last for a few days or a maximum of a week. If it exceeds, consult a doctor immediately. 

Serious side effects:

Severe allergic reactions like

  1. itchy skin, rashes
  2. angioedema ( swelling under your skin, near eyelids, lips, hands or feet)
  3. Bronchospasm ( wheezing or breathing problems)
  4. Anaphylaxis (an allergic reaction which makes it hard to breathe and swallow)

Paradoxical bronchospasm ( unexpected reactions)

  1. Coughing 
  2. Worse breathing trouble even after using an inhaler

Heart problems 

  1. Fast heart rate 
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Abnormal heartbeat 
  4. Severe chest pain 
  5. Eye problems like pain, hallucinations, blurry vision
  6. New or worsening urinary problems 
  7. Low potassium levels can cause muscle and heart problems 
  8. High blood sugar levels can be hazardous for diabetic people. 
  9. Pneumonia will lead to severe cough, fever, chest pain, and breathing problems. 

Worsening COPD exacerbations (flare-ups)  

  1. Coughing, breathing trouble
  2. Shortness of breath at all times, 
  3. Constant fatigue
  4. Confusion 
  5. Coughing up mucus and wheezing more than usual. 

How to prepare the dose?

  • You need two pieces the inhaler and the cartridge 
  • Put the cartridge according to the step by step process 
  • Use the dose only twice a day after consulting your doctor for the amount of dosage. 

Is Stiolto expensive?

It can vary from place to place. Stiolto costs around $403 in GoodRX.com. It is the price you may pay without insurance. The original price depends on the insurance coverage and the place you buy. 

In any case of assistance required, the maker of Stiolto, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has options like Stiolto Savings card, Help through the BI Cares Foundation, and inside Rx pharmacy discount card in their websites to help people purchase the medicine. 

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