Where is Zanamivir used?

Zanamivir is a type of medicine called a neuraminidase inhibitor used to treat and prevent influenza type A or B. This is a prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Zanamivir helps stops the flu virus from spreading around the body. This medication is usually used in adults and children aged five years and over. 

How does Zanamivir work?

When the flu virus enters the body, it invades cells in the airways. Wherein, it replicates to form lots of new copies of the virus. The new copies of the virus leave the first cells and move on to infect neighboring cells. It is where exactly the process is being repeated. After a couple of days, enough cells have been infected that the patient feels flu symptoms. The symptoms usually continue for about a week until the immune system of the body kills the virus. 

To consent one cell and infect another, the flu virus uses neuraminidase. Zanamivir stops neuraminidase from working. Without it, the recently formed copied of the virus is not able to leave the infected cells to infect other cells. This stops the flu virus from scattering and so limits the infection to a lesser area. This makes the symptoms of the infection less severe. It also makes it for the immune system to kill the virus easier. 

How is Zanamivir taken?

For flu prevention:

  • Inhale the medication by your mouth usually 2 inhalations once a day or as directed by your doctor. The usual length of time of this medicine that you will take is 10 days if there is a sick household member.  

For flu treatment:

  • Inhale this medication through your mouth usually 2 inhalations twice a day for 5 days or as directed by your doctor. If possible, on the first day of treatment, take two doses, waiting at least 2 hours between doses. 

Read carefully the instructions of the manufacturer that describes how to inhale a dose and prepare Zanamivir using the disk inhaler. Make sure that you ask your doctor if you have any questions about how to inhale or prepare this medication.

What are the possible side effects of Zanamivir?

  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

What are the precautions in using Zanamivir?

  • For some people, Zanamivir may cause the airways to narrow after it has been inhaled which makes breathing difficult. If this happens, stop using Zanamivir and call your doctor right away. 
  • If you suffer from COPD or asthma and using a regular bronchodilator, you use it before inhaling your dose of Zanamivir. You should have your reliever at hand when you are taking this drug. 
  • This medication should not be used as a substitute for being vaccinated against seasonal flu. 
  • Tell your doctor what prescription and non-prescription medications, nutritional supplements, vitamins, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor might need to adjust the dosages of your medicines or monitor you cautiously for side effects.
  • If you forget to inhale a dose, inhale it once you remember it. If it is 2 hours or less until the next dosage, skip the missed one and continue your usual dosing schedule. If you miss several doses, call your doctor to find out what to do.