"By Brenda Goodman, MA
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD
Feb. 26, 2015 -- It's no secret this year's flu shots didn't work as well as doctors had hoped. But the news got worse Thursday when the CDC revised "...
Relenza Consumer (continued)
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
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.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the Relenza (zanamivir) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
PRECAUTIONS: Before using zanamivir, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as lactose, milk proteins), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: lung or breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD).
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This drug may be less effective for young children. They may be unable to breathe in deeply enough using this inhaler device to get enough drug to benefit them.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Additional Relenza Information
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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