glycopyrronium (for inhalation)

Easy-to-read medicine information about glycopyrronium - what is it, how to take glycopyrronium safely and possible side effects. Glycopyrronium is also called Seebri®

Type of medicine Also called
  • Bronchodilator (opens the airways)
  • Seebri®

What is glycopyrronium?

Glycopyrronium is used to improve breathing problems caused by COPD and to prevent them from recurring. Glycopyrronium must be used every day. It is a long-acting bronchodilator, which means that it works throughout the day. It prevents symptoms such as  such wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath and reduces your symptoms over the long term. Glycopyrronium works by opening air passages in the lungs to make breathing easier.

In New Zealand glycopyrronium is available as inhalation capsules to be used with the breezhaler inhaler device called Seebri breezhaler

Seebri contains the active glycopyrronium powder in a capsule form, which is for inhalation only. The powder from the capsule is breathed into the lungs using the breezhaler device provided. Do not swallow the capsules — they must be used by inhaling the contents of the capsule with the breezhaler. Using an inhaler device enables the medicine to go straight into your airways when you breathe in. This means that your airways and lungs are treated, but very little of the medicine gets into the rest of your body.

Glycopyrronium does not give immediate relief from wheezing, tight chest and shortness of breath
If you need quick relief from these symptoms, use your ‘reliever’ medicine such as salbutamol or terbutaline.

Dose

  • The dose of glycopyrronium is 1 capsule inhaled once a day.
  • Inhale the powder in the capsule using the breezhaler device. Do not swallow the capsules.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much to use, how often to use it and any special instructions.

Tips

  • Keep using your breezhaler every day. Do not stop using it, even if you feel better. Since COPD is a long-term condition, prevention with glycopyrronium is ongoing and it will need to be used every day for months or years.
  • Try to use your inhaler at the same time each day, to help you to remember to use it regularly.
  • If you miss a dose, you can take it as soon as you remember. But if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take your next dose at the right time.

How to use your breezhaler device

To get the most benefit, it is important to use the correct technique. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse to show you how to use your Breezhaler device. Here is some guidance:

 (Health Navigator NZ & Auckland District Health Board, 2018)

Using your breezhaler device

  • Remove the cap.
  • Hold the base of your inhaler device and tilt the mouthpiece. This opens the inhaler.
  • Take a capsule from the blister packaging and put it into the capsule chamber of the inhaler. Close the inhaler – you will hear it click.
  • Hold the inhaler upright and press both side buttons at the same time. You should hear a click as the capsule is pierced. Then release the side buttons.
  • Breathe out away from the inhaler and then put the mouthpiece in your mouth and close your lips firmly around it.
  • Breathe in and hold your breath for around 5 to10 seconds. Then breathe out away from the inhaler.
  • Remove the empty capsule, close the inhaler and then replace the cap.

Precautions – before using glycopyrronium

  • Do you have problems with your prostate, or have had difficulty passing urine?
  • Do you have glaucoma?
  • Do you have heart problems such as an unusual heart rhythm?
  • Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?

If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start using glycopyrronium. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines glycopyrronium can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Dry mouth
  • A change in voice (hoarse voice)
  • A different taste in your mouth
  • After using your inhaler device, rinse your mouth to prevent dry mouth and throat irritation
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Headache
  • Difficulty urinating (peeing)
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Changes in your heartbeat (fast or irregular)
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116
  • Difficulty breathing or worsening of your breathing problem.
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring Healthline on 0800 611 116

Learn more

Seebri Breezhaler Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets

References

  1. Glycopyrronium (inhalation) New Zealand Formulary
Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Carolyn Woolerton, Pharmacist, MedWise, August 2016