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Why is this medication prescribed?
Zanamivir is used to treat some types of influenza (flu) in patients 12 years and older who have had symptoms of the flu for 2 days or less. Zanamivir is in a class of drugs called neuraminidase inhibitors. These drugs work by stopping the growth and spread of the flu virus in your body. Zanamivir helps shorten the time you have flu symptoms such as nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, muscle aches, tiredness, headache, fever, and chills.
How should this medicine be used?
Zanamivir comes as a powder to inhale by mouth. It is usually inhaled twice daily for 5 days. You should take the doses about 12 hours apart and at the same time each day. On the first day of treatment your doctor may tell you to take the doses closer together.Zanamivir comes with a plastic inhaler called a Diskhaler and five circular blister packs called Rotadisks. Each Rotadisk contains four doses of the medication. Your prescription will come with instructions on how to use the Diskhaler. You should read these instructions carefully before using zanamivir. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to show you how to use the Diskhaler.
To put a Rotadisk in the Diskhaler, follow these steps:
To use the Diskhaler, follow the steps described below, making sure that you are holding the Diskhaler level at all times.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part that you do not understand. Take zanamivir exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Continue to take zanamivir even if you start to feel better. Do not stop taking zanamivir without talking to your doctor.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking zanamivir,
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is 2 hours or less until the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from zanamivir are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Keep this medicine in the container it came in and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Zanamivir will not stop you from giving the flu to others. You should maintain proper hygiene, wash your hands frequently, and avoid situations such as sharing cups and utensils that can spread the virus to others.
Zanamivir does not replace the flu vaccine. You should continue to receive a flu shot each year if your doctor recommends it.
The Diskhaler should only be used for zanamivir. Do not use the Diskhaler to take other medications that you inhale.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of the flu after you finish the zanamivir, call your doctor.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT