Zanamivir is used to treat flu, an infection caused by influenza virus. This medicine reduces the time that you suffer from flu symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches.
It also used to prevent you from getting flu during an outbreak or if you have come into close contact with someone who has flu symptoms.
Use Zanamivir exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not use more or less than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine is available as an inhalation powder to be used with an inhalation device.
Make sure you know how to use the device you have been given. If you have problems or do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Instructions for use:
- Remove the cover. Check to ensure that the mouthpiece is clean, inside and outside.
- Hold the edges of the mouthpiece and pull out the sliding tray gently until it stops.
- Squeeze both sides of the ridges at the same time with your finger and thumb to release the tray. Gently pull the tray out of the body of the device.
- Place the new disk on the wheel with the blisters facing down and the printed side facing up. The blisters will fit neatly into the holes of the wheel.
- Slide the tray back into the body of the device as far as it will go. The device is now loaded with medicine.
- Hold the device horizontally and keep it level to prevent medicine from spilling out.
- When ready to inhale the dose, flip the lid up as far as it will go to pierce the blister. This will require some pressure and you may feel some resistance as you lift the lid. The lid must be fully upright to ensure that the blister has been completely pierced.
- Push the lid back down.
- To inhale the dose, hold the device away from your mouth, breathe out as far as you comfortably can. Do not blow into the device or the powder may be blown out.
- Place the mouthpiece between your teeth and close your lips firmly around it, but do not bite the mouthpiece. Make sure you do not cover the air holes on either side of the mouthpiece.
- Take a quick, deep breath in through the mouthpiece. Hold your breath for a few seconds.
- Remove the device from your mouth. Continue holding your breath for a few more seconds or as long as you comfortably can.
- Breathe out slowly and resume normal breathing.
- To prepare the next dose, gently pull out the tray (without removing it) then push it back in. This will rotate the medicine disc to the next blister. When you are ready to use the next dose, repeat steps 6 to 13.
- Wipe the mouthpiece with a clean tissue and replace the mouthpiece cover after use.
- When all four blisters have been used, remove the empty medicine disk and load with new medicine disk by repeating steps 1 to 5.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your infection.
Use Zanamivir at regular intervals. Do not skip any doses. You must complete the entire course of this medicine. If you don't, the infection will not be properly controlled.
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to use your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not use Zanamivir if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine or any of its ingredients.
Inform your doctor if you have lung diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (long-term lung disease that causes airflow obstruction making it hard to breathe).
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Zanamivir is not a substitute for flu vaccination. Your doctor will inform you if you need to be vaccinated against flu.
Zanamivir does not prevent you from spreading your flu to others. Try to limit contact with others while you are sick, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands frequently with soap and water to avoid spreading the flu to others.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
Zanamivir may cause any of the following side effects: cough, dizziness, and stomach pain.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes, or mouth
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth, or eyes accompanied by fever
- wheezing, cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated, or having thoughts of self-harm)
- fainting and feeling lightheaded
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements, and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.