Zanamivir Oral Inhalation

Zanamivir Oral Inhalation
Zanamivir Oral Inhalation

Uses of Zanamivir Oral Inhalation

Zanamivir is used treat some types of influenza (“the flu”) in those aged 7 and up who have had flu symptoms for less than 2 days. It can also prevent some types of flu in people at least 5 years of age who have been exposed to the flu, either through contact with an infected person or during a flu outbreak. As a neuraminidase inhibitor, zanamivir helps stop the spread of the flu virus in the body. Taking it may shorten the time during which you experience flu symptoms, including cough, congestion, sore throat, muscle pain, fatigue, weakness, headache, fever, and chills.

Side Effects Of Zanamivir Oral Inhalation

Zanamivir may cause side effects. Consult your physician if the following symptoms persist or are severe:

  • dizziness
  • nasal irritation
  • pain in the joints

Seek immediate treatment if you experience the following:

  • difficulty breathing; shortness of breath
  • difficulty swallowing
  • itching
  • loss of voice
  • rash/hives
  • swollen face, eyes, lips, tongue, throat, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs

Warnings & Precautions

Before using zanamivir:

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic any medications or food products or are lactose-intolerant.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what abut any medications (prescription or over-the-counter) and supplements you are taking.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have had heart, kidney, liver, or lung diseases. It is especially important to mention asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and other breathing problems.
  • alert your doctor if you plan to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are breast-feeding. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking zanamivir.
  • you should know that zanamivir may cause life-threatening breathing problems, especially in those with asthma or emphysema. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience wheezing or shortness of breath after a dose of zanamivir. (If you have been prescribed a rescue medication for breathing difficulties, use that first.)
  • you should know that flu patients, especially children and teenagers, may experience agitation, anxiety, or confusion, behave out of character, have seizures, hallucinate, or harm or kill themselves. These symptoms may occur regardless of whether you or child take zanamivir. Call your doctor immediately if you or your child begin to suffer from confusion or abnormal behavior. Be sure someone else knows about the seriousness of these symptoms so that they can make the call if you are unable to yourself.
  • ask your doctor if you should get an annual flu vaccination. Zanamivir is not a replacement for the vaccine, though is may interfere with the intranasal flu vaccine (FluMist) if taken up to 2 weeks after or 48 hours before that vaccine is administered.

Dosage Of Zanamivir Oral Inhalation

Zanamivir comes as a powder to be inhaled orally. Be sure to take your doses roughly 12 hours apart and at the same times each day. (Your doctor may waive this requirement on your first day of treatment.) To treat the flu, zanamivir is usually taken twice a day for 5 days to treat influenza. To help prevent the spread of influenza within a household, is is usually taken once a day for 10 days. To help prevent the spread of the flu withinin a community, it is usually taken once a day for 28 days. Always use zanamivir exactly as directed.

Zanamivir comes with five Rotadisks (circular blister packs containing four doses of powder each) and a plastic inhaler called a Diskhaler. Do not open or puncture the Rotadisks or attempt to take zanamivir without the Diskhaler.

If you have been prescribed an inhaler to treat asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems, use that first if you are scheduled to take it at the same time as zanamivir.

Children should only use zanamivir under the supervision of an adult who has been instructed in its use by a physician.

Continue to take zanamivir even if you feel better.

Consult your doctor if you develop new symptoms during or after treatment or if your flu symptoms do not improve.


To avoid spreading the influenza virus to others, you should maintain wash your hands frequently and avoid sharing cups, utensils, etc.

Do not use the Diskhaler to take any medication other than zanamivir.