Zanamivir

Generic Name (active ingredient): Zanamivir
Brand Name: Relenza

Zanamivir is an antiviral drug, which belongs to the class of neuraminidaze inhibitors. The preparation is normally used in treatment of Flu infections.

How does the medication work?
The drug works by inhibiting neuraminidaze an enzyme which is responsible for the release of the viruses from the infected cells, and promotion of cellular wall penetration. The preparation Zanamivir works in the cells and in the extracellular space.
After the inhalation the preparation is absorbed at the level of 10-20%. Low systemic absorption leads to a low systemic concentration. Absolute bioavailability of the drug after oral administration is-2%. The drug is not metabolized. The preparation is excreted with urine within 24 hours after administration.

When Zanamivir is prescribed?

  • The preparation is normally used in treatment and prophylaxis of influenza virus type A and B in adults and children older then 7 years of age

What should I know before taking Zanamivir?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to Zanamivir or to any other medicines such as:

  • Oseltamivir
  • Amantadine
  • Rimantadine

Do not take Zanamivir if any of the below conditions apply to you:

  • Young age
  • Hypersensitivity to any components of the drug

If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeed, you should take Zanamivir only under a strict control of your doctor. Zanamivir belongs to a pregnancy category C meaning that it should be used only in extreme cases during pregnancy, if the risks for the mother and the child outweigh the risks connected with the use of the drug.

How to take Zanamivir :
Zanamivir is available in the forms of inhalation powder. The preparation should be used only as oral inhalations. Patients that use other inhaled drugs should be instructed by their health care provider to use other drugs priorly to the administration of Zanamivir (Relenza).
Dosage of Zanamivir is prescribed individually by your physician.
Take the entire amount of Relenza prescribed by your doctor, even if you feel better before the end of the treatment. If you stop taking medication too early, symptoms may return.
If you missed the scheduled dose, take the medication as soon as you remember, but skip the dose if it is almost the time for the following dose. Do not take two doses at once.

What are the side effects of Relenza?
The preparation is tolerated normally in cases of inhaled administration.
Relenza may cause the following side effects:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Bronchospasm
  • Rash
  • Itching

If you experience any side effect that last long or becomes bothersome, please inform your doctor as dose adjustment or treatment discontinuation may be required.

Which are Zanamivir overdose symptoms?
If you overdose Relenza, seek immediate medical attention.

Which other medicines may affect Zanamivir?
For a complete list of possible interactions ask your doctor or pharmacist. Before taking Zanamivir, let your doctor know what other medicines, including OTC, you currently take.
Due to low absorption, the possibility of interactions in Zanamivir is considered to be very low.

How should I store Relenza?
The drug should be kept away from children, at temperatures not exceeding 30 ° C. Expiration time 3 years.

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