Zanamivir Nasal Spray: Uses and Precautions

Zanamivir Nasal Spray is a prescription medication used for the prevention and treatment of influenza (flu). It belongs to the class of medications known as neuraminidase inhibitors.
Where to get
Available by prescription and dispensed at pharmacies.
Applicable for
Prepared by Shruti Sahoo, reviewed by Dr. Eugene Smith

Zanamivir Nasal Spray FAQ

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What is Zanamivir used for?

Zanamivir is an antiviral medicine that blocks the actions of viruses in your body. Zanamivir is used to treat flu symptoms caused by influenza virus in people who have had symptoms for less than 2 days. Zanamivir may also be given to prevent influenza in people who may be exposed but do not yet have symptoms.

How does zanamivir help with flu symptoms?

Zanamivir helps shorten the time you have flu symptoms such as nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, muscle aches, tiredness, weakness, headache, fever, and chills. How should this medicine be used? Zanamivir comes as a powder to inhale (breathe in) by mouth.

Does zanamivir treat the common cold?

Zanamivir will not treat the common cold. Relenza should not be used in place of getting a yearly flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control recommends an annual flu shot to help protect you each year from new strains of influenza virus. Some people using Relenza have had sudden unusual changes in mood or behavior, most often in children.

How long does zanamivir take to work?

Zanamivir may reduce flu symptoms (weakness, headache, fever, cough, runny or stuffy nose, and sore throat) by 1 to 1.5 days. Zanamivir may also be used to prevent influenza infection if you have come into close contact with someone who has the flu. This medicine must be started within 2 days of having flu symptoms.

How do you inhale zanamivir?

These disks are placed into a device called a DISKHALER that you will use to inhale the medicine. The device opens and loads a blister of zanamivir each time you use the inhaler. To treat flu symptoms: Use 2 inhalations twice per day for 5 days. On the first day of treatment, space your doses at least 2 hours apart.

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