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Dornase Alfa

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Dornase alfa is a medication prescribed primarily for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic disorder that affects the lungs and digestive system. It’s used to help improve lung function by thinning and loosening thick, sticky mucus in the airways, making it easier to cough up and clear from the lungs. By reducing mucus buildup, dornase alfa can help decrease the frequency of respiratory infections and improve overall lung function in CF patients.

How should this medicine be used?

The medication is usually administered via a nebulizer, a device that converts the medication into a mist that can be inhaled. The typical dosage and frequency of dornase alfa administration can vary depending on the individual’s age, weight, and severity of CF symptoms. It’s essential to follow the specific instructions provided by a healthcare professional or as indicated on the medication label. Typically, it’s used once or twice daily, but the exact dosing regimen should be determined by a doctor.

It’s important to note that dornase alfa is not a cure for cystic fibrosis but rather a treatment to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life for those living with the condition. As with any medication, it’s essential to use dornase alfa as prescribed and to discuss any questions or concerns with a healthcare provider.

Other uses for this medicine

While Dornase Alfa is primarily indicated for cystic fibrosis, there may be off-label uses, though these should always be discussed with a healthcare professional. Off-label uses might include other respiratory conditions characterized by excessive mucus production, such as chronic bronchitis or bronchiectasis. However, the effectiveness of Dornase Alfa for these conditions may vary, and its use should be guided by a healthcare provider.

What special precautions should I follow?

As for special precautions to follow when using dornase alfa:

  • Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider if you have any allergies, particularly to dornase alfa or similar medications, before starting treatment.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: It’s essential to discuss the risks and benefits of using dornase alfa during pregnancy or while breastfeeding with your doctor, as the effects on unborn babies or infants are not well understood.
  • Storage: Follow the storage instructions provided with the medication to ensure its stability and effectiveness.
  • Adverse reactions: Be aware of potential side effects, such as cough, voice alterations, rash, chest pain, or difficulty breathing, and notify your doctor if you experience any concerning symptoms.
  • Drug interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as dornase alfa may interact with certain drugs.
  • Usage: Follow the prescribed dosage and administration instructions carefully, and do not alter the dose or frequency without consulting your healthcare provider.

By following these precautions and guidelines, you can help ensure the safe and effective use of dornase alfa as part of your treatment plan.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are typically no specific dietary restrictions associated with dornase alfa. However, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is important for overall health, especially for individuals with cystic fibrosis or other respiratory conditions. A dietitian or healthcare provider may provide guidance on dietary considerations tailored to your specific needs and medical condition.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of dornase alfa, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up. If you are unsure about what to do, or if you have missed multiple doses, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance. Consistent adherence to the prescribed dosing schedule is important for optimal treatment outcomes.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Dornase alfa, like any medication, can cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects may include:

  • Voice alteration: Some individuals may experience hoarseness or voice changes while using dornase alfa.
  • Cough: A persistent or increased cough may occur, particularly at the beginning of treatment. This cough is often productive, helping to clear mucus from the lungs.
  • Sore throat: Irritation or discomfort in the throat may occur as a result of dornase alfa use.
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose: Some individuals may experience nasal symptoms, such as congestion or a runny nose.
  • Rash: Skin irritation or rash at the site of nebulizer use or elsewhere on the body may occur in some cases.
  • Chest pain: Rarely, chest pain or discomfort may occur as a side effect of dornase alfa. This should be promptly reported to a healthcare provider.
  • Difficulty breathing: In rare cases, dornase alfa may cause difficulty breathing or exacerbate existing respiratory symptoms. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any breathing difficulties.

It’s essential to report any persistent or severe side effects to your healthcare provider. Additionally, if you experience any signs of allergic reaction, such as hives, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention.

Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of side effects, and other side effects may occur. If you have concerns about potential side effects of dornase alfa, discuss them with your healthcare provider before starting treatment.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

When it comes to the storage and disposal of dornase alfa, here are some important considerations:


  • Room temperature: Store dornase alfa vials or nebulizer solution at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not freeze.
  • Refrigeration: If instructed by the manufacturer or pharmacist, you may refrigerate dornase alfa vials. However, do not freeze them.
  • Protection from light: Keep the medication away from direct sunlight or bright light.
  • Avoid contamination: Ensure that the medication remains sterile by keeping the container closed when not in use.
  • Keep out of reach of children: Store dornase alfa in a safe place out of the reach of children and pets.


  • Unused medication: If you have unused or expired dornase alfa, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for proper disposal instructions.
  • Sharps disposal: If you are using single-dose vials with needles or syringes, dispose of them in a sharps container to prevent accidental needlesticks.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Seek medical attention: In case of accidental ingestion or overdose of dornase alfa, seek emergency medical assistance immediately.
  • Symptom management: If overdose symptoms occur, medical professionals will provide supportive care and treatment as necessary.

What other information should I know?

  • Regular check-ups: Attend regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your response to dornase alfa and adjust your treatment plan if needed.
  • Follow-up appointments: Keep all follow-up appointments with your doctor to ensure the medication is working effectively and to address any concerns or side effects.
  • Medication interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as dornase alfa may interact with certain drugs.
  • Travel considerations: If you plan to travel, ensure you have an adequate supply of dornase alfa and any necessary equipment, such as a nebulizer, to continue treatment while away from home.
  • Patient education: Educate yourself about cystic fibrosis, its management, and the proper use of dornase alfa. Knowledge empowers you to take an active role in your treatment.

By following these guidelines and staying informed about the proper use, storage, and disposal of dornase alfa, you can ensure its safe and effective use as part of your cystic fibrosis management plan.

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