Spiriva Weight Gain Side Effects

William Says:

I've talked about this problem before concerning the side effects from Spiriva. The only side effect I've experienced was a sudden, and seemingly permanent weight gain. In spite of efforts to lose the weight I've had no success whatsoever. I've gained weight from other medications in the past only to lose it when the medication was discontinued. Not so with Spiriva. It has been almost three years since I've used the inhaler but yet the added weight persists. I should mention that all of the added weight has been on the midsection and nowhere else! To make matters worse has been a disended abdomen to go along with it. I contacted the drug company right after it happened and, naturally, they acted as if it was new to them! I'm not the only one this has happened to. Although a rare side effect it has been a problem for others, the same as mine. This thing is ruining lives, and should be pulled from the market. It won't be though...profits are the name of this terrible game. Bill.

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William Says:

I'll try and be a little specific as to the weight gain problem I had, and still have, with the inhaler; Spiriva. As I've mentioned the weight gained is near impossible to lose. Oh yes, I've lost weight from dieting but that was on all parts of my body except the area that the inhaler affected: The midsection, and nowhere else! Along with that is the truly annoying, and quite embarrassing condition of an extended abdomen. Even today, after three years off the drug my belly still blows up when I either eat, or just plain take in air!

Now I've done a bit of research into the ingredients of this drug, inhaler, and found that it contains a compound called: Tiotropium Bromide! Does anyone out there, including medical professionals, have any knowlege of the ingredients. If no one thinks that this compound would never cause the condition I have then the inhaler must certainly have included something that shouldn't be there.

People out there: I need all of the information that you might have that will help me. This has gone on long enough. Oh yes, the two doctors I visited had no idea what the drug did to me, in spite of seeing that my belly was, indeed, swollen. This is the kind of help I get from the medical community. Help!

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Verwon Says:

What type of doctors did you visit?

It is possible that the weight/swelling of the midsection that you've experienced is due to water weight gain.

Learn more Edema details here.

You should really see a doctor that can evaluate you for such, such as a cardiologist, or someone with experience in recognizing it, as it can be a very dangerous condition if left untreated. However, if that's what the problem is, it may explain why you can't lose the weight.

How much fluid do you take in each day? How high is your sodium intake?

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Bill Says:

I'm sorry that I haven't responded to your response and ideas on this matter. Your ideas do seem logical from the outside though. However I do know the weight gain is from the inhaler and nothing else. I started to gain weight on day one of using it. When I stopped the weight gain stopped. Every pound is on the abdomen area and nowhere else. I had a woman contact me to say that her father had used the inhaler for two years and gained an enormous 90 lbs, all on the abdomen area! From that disaster he turned diabetic, and came out of it with a serious heart condition. This side effect is rare but it still exists.
However I do believe you're in the right area as I will seek out someone, an MD, who might be familiar with this problem. At any rate thank you for your reply as it's nice to know that someone has taken notice and have concern.

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Maiden Says:

Reading these posts have been as alarming as my steady weight gain. And especially in the abdomen. I have this horrible dry mouth, which makes me drink tons of water! I took Advair only of an on for years and didn't gain weight. i may have to wean myself off of this one too. On top of this, I also have to inhale Symbcort twice a day.

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Shelley Says:

I have gained about 6" around my abdomin in less than three months. I started taking spiriva three months ago. I had a hernia surgery so I was blaming it on that. This helps explain it. It's like I'm 9 months pregnant. I am contacting my pulmonary doctor. Thanks for this discussion to help me understand I'm not the only one experiencing this nasty side effect.

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Bill Says:

To Shelley;
I deeply sympathize with you and your experience with Spiriva and the filthy side effect you've had to deal with.
I had contacted the drug company three years ago and did again last week. They acted nice and acted as if they knew little about this problem and suggested that I try and lose the weight. What you must do is try and find a good doctor who will take you seriously and to not ignor your condition. To do so, as far as I'm concerned, is criminal. You well may have a serious condition brought on by the inhaler that should not be ignored.

You should also contact the drug company and let them know what has happened to you. Make sure you let them know that this stuff has messed with your life and you need help.

Finally contact a lawyer, if its not too late and try and do something.

Good luck, Bill.

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Bill Says:

This is an additional reply, A comment concerning this serious side effect that some of us are experiencing from the inhaler Spiriva: WEIGHT GAIN! As far as I'm concerned this one side effect should warrant that the drug be pulled from the market until it can be closer looked at, until a remedy can be found concerning this problem. If not then it should be pulled from the market as it is ruining lives, nothing is being done about it, and should be taken seriously.

Thank you, Bill.

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Round Robin Says:

I went off of Symbicort 6 weeks ago because it caused weight gain - 15 pounds over 6 months. I switched to Spiriva thinking that without the steroids of Symbicort I would be able to lose the weight and still have the benefits of breathing better. Can't lose the weight though. It DOES NOT encourage me to stop my 5 cigarette a day addiction, knowing that I will then gain weight from that. Excess weight is as bad as anything I can think of for exacerbating the depression I also deal with. It's a round robin.

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Cathy Audia Says:

I have also gained weight and have been wondering if it is the Spiriva. I've gained about 10 pounds and being 5'2" that is alot of weight for me. I have been on a 1200 calorie diet for 3 weeks and haven't lost anything. What is unusual is I have only gained weight in my abdomen and hips. I am going to stop taking it and ask to be put on something else.

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Patsy Says:

I have gained 20 lbs. since being diagnosed with COPD! All in the waist& stomach. Been taking Spireva& Symbicort!

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Debbie Says:

I've gained over 30 lbs in the last 6 month and am having a really hard time losing it mostly abdominal area> I have been on spiriva for the last 3 yrs plus symbicort for last year....I stopped taking the symbicort a couple days ago since it had the steroids, but am glad I checked this sight I may have stopped the wrong inhaler

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Bill Says:

Hello Patsy;
I sympathize with you. The weight you gained is not from the symbicort but from Spiriva. Stop the Spiriva and see if the weight will leave, and if it doesn't see a responsible doctor who will take you seriously as far as losing the weight. I'm finding it difficult to find a responsible doctor to involve him or herself as I believe they don't want to get involved in any form of litigation. This is a serious problem that does indeed affect one's psyche simply because it does affect one's appearence. For people who care about how their clothes fit, well it will ruin their lives!

Patsy, let us know what progress you make with any doctors that you visit and let us know what their ideas are. Thank you. Bill.

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Round Robin Says:

This is an update on my weight gain since stopping Symbicort and switching to Spiriva: I went on the only weight loss plan that has consistently worked for ME in the past: No bread, added fats, sugar or dairy, but small meals every 2 or 3 hours that always include 2 oz lean protein along with either a small portion of low-glycemic-index fruit OR a natural carb ie rice, oatmeal or potato, and veggies. I lost NO WEIGHT for 6 weeks (because it took that long for the steroid in Symbicort to leave MY system). I asked how long the steroid would remain in my system - on the MedHelp chat site - and got a response from Dr David Tinkleman, National Jewish Health, Denver, CO who replied that the time will vary from one individual to another, but it's relatively short, in the range of days to a week or maybe a little longer depending on the various inhaled steroid preparations...Upshot: the food plan finally worked and I've now lost 10 of the 15 pounds I'd gained but it was slow - it took me 11 weeks. To summarize it's been 4 months since I stopped Symbicort for Spiriva.

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Shay Says:

I'm glad I found this information re: Spiriva and Symbicort. I, too have gained a LOT of weight, all in the stomach area. I have been on both of these med's for almost a year. My doctor calims that it is not from the med's but I'm not a big eater and I don't eat a lot of junk. I can't seem to lose any of this weight no matter how much I control food intake.
The med's do help my copd condition - does anyone have any suggestions as to what drugs are helpful WITHOUT causing weight gain?

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I have been on Spiriva for about 2 1/2 yrs now and I must say, I have had a weight problem for years howeverin the last 2 yrs since Ive been on Spiriva my weight has spireled out of control conpletely. I always was between 210 and 230 lbs, now I am at 285 lbs. All in my belly, I look like I'm pregnant with triplets, and my stomach is huge. I think the weight is causing most of my breathing problems, maybe Hypoventalation due to the fat content in my belly.From the weight gain I have gerd symptoms from time to time, and I also quit smoking over 2 yrs ago and do not cough or wheeze like I used to, so all my bad feelings are weight related, I am only 5 ft tell so its hard for me to carry the weight and the weight of this huge belly. I cant breath when I try to walk or stand longer than a few seconds. I've had 2 Necular Stress tests a year apart and they say my heart is perfect and good, so obviously its weight related. I turned diabetic about 4 yrs ago so I don't eat sugar, no sodas, diet or otherwise. yes I do like a good chili dog or corned beef sandwich every now and then, but really, it is every now and then, it isnt all the time. For the most part I eat chicken, fish, lean meats , lots of veggies and alittle fruit every now and then. I dont do sweets or sugars and very little carbs and no desserts not being a sweet eater. Because of my size i can't exersise, thats a huge problem. Any ideas? I'm ready to stop the Spiriva to see if there r any changes in my weight. Though in reading the sites some say they had no changes after they stopped the Spiriva, then I think, whats the point in stopping? I'm already considering weightloss surgery or gastric banding, but if its the Spiriva, the surgery really wont help will it? I'm only 61 yrs old and except for the excess weight, don't look it at all, I shouldnt be struggling with my weight like this, it just isn't fair.Any ideas on what I can do to help myself???? I'm so desperate to lose this fat and become more active and more of how I used to be???

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jackie Says:

i have also gained a lot of weight around my stomach and i did not realize it was coming from the spiriva. i have been on it for 3 years and also advair . i am so disgusted because it is all around my mid section. i look like i am 9 months pregnant and i was never heavy before in my life. it is not from eating and i cannot lose it no matter what i try. it all started when i started this medication. even if i drink a cup of coffee i feel completely bloated.

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Judith Says:

I contacted Pfizer about the problem and within 48 hours I received a very nice telephone call from a representative of Boehringer Ingelheim. She had not heard of the problem before and was very, very interested in finding out more. We spoke for almost an hour during which she asked about my background, etc. My problem is a bit different - I had gained weight when I quit smoking, but not a lot and was starting to lose. Then, six months after quitting I was diagnosed with mild emphysema and put on Spiriva. I have not been able to lose even an ounce more of weight and have even gained more despite proper low-cal diet and exercise. I met a lady in a restroom who was using an inhaler (not Spiriva) and we got to talking. I told her I used Spiriva and she told me about the weight gain and being unable to lose, so she asked her doctor to switch. She said to google "Spiriva and weight loss" and I did, so that's how I got to this site (among others). Anyway, here's a phone number that will put you in touch with Vickie W, the rep who called me. I'm sure she'd be interested in hearing your story, too, and everyone else's. The more the merrier. 1-800-542-6257, press option 4.

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Spunky kitty Says:

In 2005 I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis & put on Advair, a steroid. Within about 4 months I had gained 6 pounds--mostly around waist & abdomen. It seemed more like bloat. The doc changed me to Spiriva but there was no weight loss. I have been on Spiriva for 8 years & breathing is no better. I have gained 4 more pounds. I cut back on food but no weight loss. I also walked 2 miles a day. My waist has gone up at least 6inches so none of my jeans fit. I developed severe dry mouth, convulsive coughing & bronchospasms, a urinary tract infection sore muscles, depression. All of these I attribute to S piriva. I kept telling my doctor but he just said to use Spiriva every other day. This was useless. This past Feb. I had a very bad case of what I believe was norovirus from some catered food. I had diarrhea for 5 days & couldn't eat any solid food. After 2 weeks I had lost 10 pounds,had no appetite for over 2 months but forced myself to eat what I could. In early April I told by new pulmonologist I really couldn't tolerate Spiriva anymore.. He told me to stop taking it.
I asked if I should try Robitussin & he just shrugged. I did stop the Spiriva, tried Mucinex time release tablets which I have used now for2 weeks--only 5 tablets as I didn't want to dry myself out too much. So far, so good. The bronchospasms have stopped and the nice thing is I have lost another 3 pounds so that most of the waist blubber is gone and my abdomen is going back to normal. My muscle stiffness is gone also. All of the side effects from Spiriva came on so gradually that I didn't associate some of them with the drug. Now I can see that all the misery was due to drug side effects. The 3 doctors I have had over the past 8 years really didn't care much about these effects & I doubt they ever reported them to the company. All they do is switch you from one drug to another until you feel like a lab rat. The Mucinex ,if you are not familiar with it, contains only one active ingredient which is guaifenesin--the expectorant part of liquid Robitussin. I don't know how this OTC works for other forms of COPD, but if all else fails it might be worth a try. You can check with your doctor. So far I have had no side effects and overall I feel much better.

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madcatter Says:

I've gained 30 pounds since using Spiriva.Next doctor visit,I'm going back to Advair.2 times a day is more hassle,but I didn't gain weight on it.

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Judith Says:

I wonder if it could probably the bromide. I seem to find things out serendipitously - one of my neighbor's dogs was just diagnosed to have epilepsy. She told me the vet is treating her with potassium bromide and among the side effects he warned her about was possible weight gain - it's one of the rare side effects but it does occur. This whole Spiriva weight gain is really getting to me.

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