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Relenza: Consumer Questions and Answers

What You Need to Know

What is Relenza and what is it approved for?

Relenza (zanamivir) is an antiviral drug. It works by attacking the flu virus to keep it from multiplying in your body and reducing the symptoms of the flu. It can sometimes keep you from getting the flu if you take it before you get sick.

The term "flu" refers to illness caused by the influenza virus. The flu is a respiratory infection that can cause symptoms such as fever, chills, aches and pains, cough, and sore throat. The flu can range from mild common cold symptoms, to the typical "flu" symptoms described above, to life-threatening pneumonia and other complications, including secondary bacterial infections.

Relenza is used to treat people 7 years of age and older who have the flu (influenza A and B viruses). Relenza is also used for prevention (prophylaxis) of the flu in people age 5 years or older.

Is Relenza a substitute for the flu vaccine?

No. Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect against getting the flu and controlling the spread of the flu.

More information on the seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu vaccines is available on the flu vaccination page on the website.

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