Relenza: Consumer Questions and Answers
What You Need to Know
- What is Relenza and what is it approved for?
- Is Relenza a substitute for the flu vaccine?
- What do the terms treatment of the flu and prevention (prophylaxis) of the flu mean?
- Do I take Relenza the same way for treatment and prevention (prophylaxis) of the flu?
- What should I do if I continue to have or start to develop flu symptoms while taking Relenza?
- How is Relenza supplied?
- How many blisters are used for a dose?
- Are there instructions for people who have never used an inhaler?
- Are there any other special instructions to remember?
- Are there people who should not take Relenza?
- Should women who are pregnant or nursing take Relenza?
- What are the most common side effects of Relenza?
- What are the serious side effects of Relenza?
- Where can I get more information about Relenza and 2009 H1N1?
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.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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