Generic Name: zanamivir (Inhalation route)
Commonly used brand name(s):
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antiviral
Pharmacologic Class: Neuraminidase Inhibitor, Influenza A&B Virus
Zanamivir is used in the treatment of the infection caused by the flu virus (influenza A and influenza B). Zanamivir may also be used to prevent and treat swine influenza A . Zanamivir may reduce flu symptoms (weakness, headache, fever, cough, and sore throat) by 1 to 1.5 days. Zanamivir may also be used to prevent influenza infection .
This medicine must be started within 2 days of having flu symptoms (weakness, headache, fever, cough, and sore throat). Zanamivir will not keep you from spreading the flu virus to other people. Zanamivir may not work for everybody. Zanamivir may not be for you if you are severely sick or have a breathing problem (like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). If you receive the flu vaccine every year, continue to do so.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies for the treatment of influenza infection in children up to 7 years of age have not been performed. Appropriate studies for the prevention of influenza infection in children up to 5 years of age have also not been performed. Safety and efficacy of zanamivir for the treatment and prevention of influenza infection have not been established in these age groups .
Note: This medicine is available in Canada. It is not recommended in children younger than 12 years of age.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatrics-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of zanamivir in the elderly. However, elderly patients may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine than younger adults, which may require caution in patients receiving zanamivir .
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Talk to your doctor about the possibility of getting a flu shot if you have not had one yet. This medicine works best if taken as soon as possible after exposure to people who have the flu. If you already have the flu, continue taking this medicine for the full time of treatment even if you begin to feel better after a few days. This will help to clear up your infection completely. If you stop taking this medicine too soon, your symptoms may return. This medicine should be taken for 5 days.
Inhaled zanamivir is to be used ONLY with a special inhaler (Diskhaler). Do NOT mix this medicine with other solutions. Do NOT use this medicine in any nebulizer or mechanical ventilator. Read the directions carefully before using this medicine. If you do not understand the directions or you are not sure how to use the inhaler, ask your health care professional to show you what to do.
To load the inhaler:
To use the inhaler:
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Zanamivir may cause people with lung disease (chronic obstructive lung disease or asthma) to experience trouble breathing. If this should happen contact your doctor immediately. Zanamivir may not work in patients with lung disease, heart disease, or serious medical conditions.
Bronchospasm (wheezing) is a risk for patients with asthma or chronic respiratory disease. Always have a fast-acting inhaled bronchodilator available for your use.
This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have itching, hives, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine .
This medicine contains lactose. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to lactose before you start using this medicine .
Before using this medicine, tell your doctor if you have received a live, attenuated intranasal influenza vaccine (FluMist®) in the past two weeks .
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:Rare
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:Less common
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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