Relenza

Generic Name: Zanamivir

  • What is Relenza?

    Relenza is used to treat influenza A and B viruses (the flu) in adults and children 7 years of age and older. Also, Relenza is used to prevent the flu in adults and children 5 years of age and older.
  • What is the most important information I should know about Relenza?

    Relenza should not be used to treat the flu in people with airway disease, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This drug should be stopped immediately if it begins to cause breathing problems.

    Relenza may cause you to develop serious allergic reactions such as rash or difficulty breathing. If this occurs, stop using Relenza and immediately notify your physician.

    Relenza is not a substitute for the annual flu shot.

    Relenza will help to treat influenza A and B (the flu). However, others around you will remain at risk for becoming infected with influenza A or B while you are infected with it.

    The use of Relenza may cause you to develop signs of abnormal behavior. If this develops, notify your physician.

  • Who should not take Relenza?

    Do not take Relenza if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, which include lactose (a milk protein).
  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Relenza?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Relenza. Also, talk to your doctor about your medical history, especially if you have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are pregnant, or are nursing.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Treatment of the Flu

    Adults and children ≥7 years of age: The recommended dose of Relenza is 10 milligrams (mg) twice daily (approximately 12 hours apart) for 5 days. Two doses should be taken on the first day of treatment whenever possible as long as at least 2 hours elapse between doses. On the following days, doses should be about 12 hours apart (eg, (morning and evening) and given at approximately the same time each day.

    For Prevention of the Flu when Others in the Household Have It

    Adults and children ≥5 years of age: The recommended dose is 10 mg taken once daily for 10 days. The dose should be taken at approximately the same time each day.

    For Prevention of the Flu When There is a Community Outbreak

    Adults and children ≥5 years of age: The recommended dose is 10 mg taken once daily for 28 days. The dose should be taken at approximately the same time each day.

  • How should I take Relenza?

    Relenza is for use only with the Diskhaler inhalation device provided. Follow the patient instructions included within the Relenza packaging.
  • What should I avoid while taking Relenza?

    If you are receiving treatment for asthma with an inhaler, it is important to avoid using the asthma inhaler at the same time as Relenza. Use your asthma inhaler before taking your dose of Relenza.
  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Relenza?

    If Relenza is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Relenza with a live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV).
  • What are the possible side effects of Relenza?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: allergic reactions (difficulty breathing, serious skin rash); bronchitis; cough; diarrhea; dizziness; ear, nose, and throat infections; nasal symptoms; nausea; sinusitis; vomiting.

  • Can I receive Relenza if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of using Relenza during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. Notify your physician if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant prior to beginning therapy with Relenza.

    It is not known if Relenza is found in breast milk. Notify your physician if you are breastfeeding prior to beginning therapy with Relenza.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Relenza?

    If you miss a dose of Relenza, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and return to your normal dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose.
  • How should I store Relenza?

    Store Relenza at room temperature, away from children. Do not puncture any Relenza Rotadisk blisters until you take a dose using the diskhaler.