When and How to Take It

Some general considerations for when and how to take zanamivir include the following:
  • The medication is inhaled into the lungs, either one or twice a day (depending on several factors). If you take zanamivir twice a day, try to space it evenly (every 12 hours). If you take the drug once a day, try to take it at the same time each day.
  • Zanamivir is inhaled using a special non-propellant inhaler with special foil disks. Each disk contains four small, foil blisters, which contain the powdered medication. These blisters are punctured, and the powder is inhaled using your own breath.
  • Be sure to keep the blisters horizontal while using the drug; otherwise, the powder can spill out.
  • Make sure you know exactly how to use the zanamivir inhaler. Several steps are necessary to assemble and use it. These steps are clearly outlined in the patient information that comes with zanamivir.
  • For treating the flu, zanamivir works better the earlier it is started. Ideally, it should be started within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.

Is There a Generic Version?

Currently, there are no generic versions of zanamivir licensed for sale (see Generic Relenza).

Who Makes Zanamivir?

Zanamivir is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

Strengths of Zanamivir

Zanamivir comes in a package with one inhaler device and five disks, each of which contains four blisters of zanamivir (for a total of 20 blisters per pack). Each pack contains enough medicine to last for 5 days of flu treatment or for 10 days of flu prevention. Each blister contains 5 mg of zanamivir.
5 Tips to Keep a Cold at Bay

Zanamivir Drug Information

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