Relenza Diskhaler (Zanamivir)

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What is Relenza Diskhaler (Zanamivir) prescribed for?

This medication is used to treat symptoms cause by the flu virus, also known as influenza. If you have had symptoms such as stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, fever and chills, headache, body aches, and overall tiredness for two days or less, it will help by lessening them. And it shortens the recovery time by about1 to 2 days.

 This medication may also be used to prevent the flu if you have been exposed to someone that already has the flu, such as a sick household member, or if there is a flu outbreak in the community. However it is best to speak with your doctor for more details.  This medication works by stopping the flu virus from growing. It is not a substitute for the flu vaccine.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this medication, consult with your doctor or pharmacist on the matter. Take this medication directly has prescribed, and make sure to read the instructions on the prescription label.  And if you have any concerns, speak with your medical professional.

 

For flu treatment: inhale this medication through your mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 inhalations (1 blister per inhalation) twice a day (about 12 hours apart) for 5 days. If possible, on the first day of treatment, take two doses (2 inhalations each), waiting at least 2 hours between doses.

For flu prevention: inhale this medication through your mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 inhalations (1 blister per inhalation) once a day. The usual length of time you will take zanamivir is 10 days if there is a sick household member or 28 days if there is a flu outbreak in the community, or as directed by your doctor.

Remove the cover on the disk inhaler. Before use, check the mouthpiece to be sure it is clean and free of particles. Load the medication disk into the disk inhaler. Puncture one medication blister. Keep the disk inhaler level so that the medication will not spill out. Breathe out all the way through your mouth, put the mouthpiece into your mouth, and breathe in through your mouth as deeply as you can. This will draw the medication into your lungs. Hold your breath for a few seconds. To take another inhalation, advance to the next medication blister and repeat the process. Replace the cover of the disk inhaler.

Do not mix this powder medication with any liquids, including nebulizer liquids.

Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic Zanamivir; or to any other medications or allergies in general. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.

Before taking this medication, it is for the best to inform your doctor of your Medical history, especially if you have ever had the following; lung or breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD)

While minor, some of these side effects may occur. They are as follows; Dizziness may occur. Also, because this medication is an inhaled powder, you may experience increased coughing after using it. However if any of these persist or worsen, it’s best to speak with your doctor right away.

This medication can cause breathing problems, which in rare cases can be fatal. If you experience trouble breathing such as wheezing or shortness of breath, stop using zanamivir and get medical help right away. Zanamivir is not recommended if you have lung/breathing problems. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. However, if your doctor decides you should use zanamivir, have a quick-relief inhaled bronchodilator (such as albuterol inhaler) readily available.

The flu itself or zanamivir may rarely cause serious mental/mood changes. This may be more likely in children. Tell your doctor right away of any signs of unusual behavior, including confusion, agitation, self-injury.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.

 

 What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.

 

 What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.

 

 What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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