Zanamivir prevents and treats infections caused by influenza A or B virus. The virus causes symptoms like head and body aches, sore throat and fever. This medication comes in an inhaler that you breathe in through your mouth as directed. The brand name of Zanamivir is Relenza®.
ZANAMIVIR (za NA mi veer) is an antiviral drug. It is used to prevent and treat flu infections caused by influenza A or B virus. It will not work for colds, other types of flu, or other viral infections.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Relenza
They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
This medicine is inhaled through the mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not use a spacer device with this inhaler. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice. Make sure that you are using your inhaler correctly. Ask you doctor or health care provider if you have any questions.
If you are also using a bronchodilator inhaler, like albuterol, use that inhaler first.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 5 years of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
If you have asthma, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema you may be at a higher risk for having breathing problems while you are taking this drug. Make sure to have a fast acting inhaler to treat breathing problems. If your symptoms get worse or if you need your short acting inhalers more often, call your doctor right away.
If you have the flu, you may be at an increased risk of developing seizures, confusion, or abnormal behavior. This occurs early in the illness, and more frequently in children and teens. These events are not common, but may result in accidental injury to the patient. Families and caregivers of patients should watch for signs of unusual behavior and contact a doctor or health care professional right away if the patient shows signs of unusual behavior.
To treat the flu, start taking this drug within 2 days of getting flu symptoms.
This drug is not a substitute for the flu vaccine. Talk to your doctor each year about an annual flu shot.
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not puncture any of the foil blisters until you are ready to take that dose. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.