Relenza (Generic Zanamivir Oral Inhalation)
Actual product appearance may differ slightly.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Relenza (zanamivir) is an antiviral medication that is prescribed to treat and prevent influenza (the flu). It belongs to a class of drugs called neuraminidase inhibitors, which work by inhibiting the activity of the neuraminidase enzyme produced by the influenza virus.
Uses of Relenza:
- Treatment of Influenza: Relenza is used to treat uncomplicated acute illness due to influenza A and B viruses in individuals aged 7 years and older who have been symptomatic for no more than 2 days.
- Prophylaxis of Influenza: Relenza can be used for the prevention (prophylaxis) of influenza in individuals aged 5 years and older.
How should this medicine be used?
Relenza is administered by oral inhalation using a device called the Diskhaler. Here are general guidelines for its use:
- Dosage: The recommended dosage for treatment is usually 2 inhalations (10 mg) twice daily for 5 days. For prophylaxis, the usual dosage is 2 inhalations once daily for 10 days.
- Administration: Relenza is inhaled through the mouth using the Diskhaler device. It’s important to follow the specific instructions provided with the medication and the Diskhaler. The inhalation should be done in a slow and deep manner for effective delivery to the lungs.
- Timing: Try to use Relenza at the same time each day to maintain a consistent level of the medication in your body.
- Missed Dose: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
- Completion of Course: Complete the full course of treatment or prophylaxis, even if your symptoms improve before the medication is finished.
- Consultation: Always consult with your healthcare provider for the specific dosage and duration suitable for your condition.
It’s crucial to use Relenza as prescribed by your healthcare provider. If you have any questions or concerns about its use, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your healthcare professional. Additionally, inform your doctor about any other medications you are taking and any existing medical conditions you may have.
Other uses for this medicine
Relenza (zanamivir) is primarily indicated for the treatment and prevention of influenza (the flu). It is not typically used for other medical conditions. Its mechanism of action is specific to inhibiting the neuraminidase enzyme of influenza viruses.
What special precautions should I follow?
Special Precautions for Relenza:
- Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider if you are allergic to zanamivir or any other medications.
- Respiratory Conditions: People with underlying respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), should use Relenza with caution. It’s important to discuss these conditions with your healthcare provider, as this medication is delivered via inhalation.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Pregnant and breastfeeding individuals should consult their healthcare providers before using Relenza. The potential benefits and risks should be carefully evaluated.
- Pediatric Use: The safety and efficacy of Relenza in children under 5 years of age have not been established. It is generally recommended for use in children aged 5 and older for prophylaxis and 7 and older for treatment.
- Underlying Medical Conditions: Inform your healthcare provider about any underlying medical conditions you may have, such as kidney problems or any other significant health issues.
- Other Medications: Make sure to inform your healthcare provider about all medications, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements, that you are taking. This is important to avoid potential drug interactions.
- Inhalation Technique: Proper inhalation technique is crucial for the effectiveness of Relenza. Follow the specific instructions provided with the Diskhaler device.
- Duration of Use: Use Relenza for the prescribed duration, and do not stop taking it without consulting your healthcare provider, even if your symptoms improve.
- Missed Dose: If you miss a dose, follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
- Side Effects: Be aware of potential side effects and report any unusual or severe reactions to your healthcare provider promptly.
It’s essential to have a comprehensive discussion with your healthcare provider about your medical history and any concerns you may have before starting Relenza or any other medication. This helps ensure that the treatment plan is tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
If you forget a dose of Relenza, follow these general guidelines:
- Take It as Soon as You Remember: If you remember shortly after missing a dose, take it as soon as possible.
- Skip the Missed Dose if It’s Almost Time for the Next Dose: If it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
- Do Not Double Dose: Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. Taking more than the prescribed amount can increase the risk of side effects.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss a dose of Relafen, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double up on doses to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Relenza (zanamivir) may cause side effects in some individuals. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and their severity can vary. Common side effects are generally mild and may include:
- Respiratory Effects:
- Nasal or throat irritation
- Bronchospasm (more common in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma)
- General Side Effects:
- Rare but Serious Side Effects:
- Severe allergic reactions: These can include skin rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience these symptoms.
It’s important to report any unusual or severe side effects to your healthcare provider. Additionally, if you have a history of respiratory conditions like asthma or COPD, inform your healthcare provider before starting Relenza, as there may be an increased risk of respiratory-related side effects.
This is not a comprehensive list of side effects, and individual responses to medications can vary. Always consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information about potential side effects and what to do if you experience them. If you experience a medical emergency or severe allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Storage and Disposal of Relenza:
- Store Relenza at room temperature between 36°F to 77°F (2°C to 25°C).
- Keep the medication away from light and moisture.
- Store it in a dry place.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s or pharmacist’s instructions on how to dispose of unused or expired medications.
- Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so.
- Proper disposal helps prevent environmental contamination and potential harm to others.
In case of emergency/overdose
In the case of an emergency or suspected overdose, seek immediate medical attention or contact your local poison control center. Overdose symptoms may include severe dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing.
What other information should I know?
- Consultation with Healthcare Provider: Before starting Relenza, discuss your medical history, including any pre-existing respiratory conditions, with your healthcare provider. Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements, that you are taking.
- Influenza Vaccination: Relenza is not a substitute for the influenza vaccine. Consider getting an annual flu vaccine as recommended by healthcare authorities.
- Effectiveness of Treatment: Begin treatment with Relenza as soon as possible after the onset of flu symptoms for optimal effectiveness.
- Duration of Treatment: Complete the full course of treatment as prescribed by your healthcare provider, even if symptoms improve before the medication is finished.
- Contact Information: Keep a list of emergency contact numbers, including your healthcare provider, pharmacist, and local poison control center.
- Follow-up Appointments: Attend follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider as scheduled to monitor your progress and address any concerns.
- Self-Monitoring: Be aware of any changes in your health or the development of unusual symptoms while taking Relenza. Report these to your healthcare provider.
Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and the medication guide provided with Relenza. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to seek clarification from your healthcare provider or pharmacist.