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How to Use Relenza (zanamivir) Step-by-Step

Content on this page was developed during the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic and has not been updated.

  • The H1N1 virus that caused that pandemic is now a regular human flu virus and continues to circulate seasonally worldwide.
  • The English language content on this website is being archived for historic and reference purposes only.
  • For current, updated information on seasonal flu, including information about H1N1, see the CDC Seasonal Flu website.

Before you start, be sure to become familiar with the parts of the DISKHALER (Figure 1).

Please read the entire Fact Sheet for Patients and Parents. It’s important that all persons correctly use Relenza. If Relenza is prescribed for a child, dosing should be supervised by an adult who understands how to use Relenza and has been instructed in its use by a healthcare provider.

Photo of part of the Diskhaler

Step A: Load the medicine into the DISKHALER

Photo: Load the medicine into the Diskhaler

  1. Start by pulling off the blue cover. Always check inside the mouthpiece to make sure it is clear before each use. If foreign objects are in the mouthpiece, they could be inhaled and cause serious harm.
  2. Pull the white mouthpiece by the edges to extend the white tray all the way.
  3. Once the white tray is extended all the way, find the raised ridges on each side of it. Press in these ridges, both sides at the same time, and pull the whole white tray out of the DISKHALER body.
  4. Place one silver medicine disk onto the dark brown wheel, flat side up. The four silver blisters on the underside of the medicine disk will drop neatly into the four holes in the wheel.
  5. Push in the white tray as far as it will go. Now the DISKHALER is loaded with medicine.

Step B: Puncture the blister

Photo: Punter the blister

  1. Be sure to keep the DISKHALER level so the medicine does not spill out.
  2. Locate the half-circle flap on top of the DISKHALER. Lift this flap from the outer edge until it cannot go any farther. Flap must be straight up for the plastic needle to puncture both the top and bottom of the silver medicine disk inside.
  3. Keeping the DISKHALER level, click the flap down into place.

Step C: Inhale

  1. Before putting the white mouthpiece into your mouth, breathe all the way out (exhale). Then put the white mouthpiece into your mouth. Be sure to keep the DISKHALER level so the medicine does not spill out.
  2. Close your lips firmly around the mouthpiece. Be sure not to cover the small holes on either side of it.
  3. Breathe in through your mouth steadily and as deeply as you can. Your breath pulls the medicine into your airways and lungs.
  4. Hold your breath for a few seconds to help Relenza in your lungs where it can work.

To take another inhalation, move to the next blister by following Step D below. Once you’ve inhaled the number of blisters prescribed by your healthcare provider, replace the cover until your next dose.

Photo: How to inhale

Step D: Move the medicine disk to the next blister for the next inhalation.

  1. Pull the mouthpiece to extend the white tray, without removing it.
  2. Then push it back until it clicks. This pull-push motion rotates the medicine disk to the next blister.
  3. To take your next inhalation, repeat Steps B and C.

If all four blisters in the medicine disk have been used, you are ready to start a new medicine disk (see Step A). Check to make sure that the silver foil is unbroken each time you are ready to puncture the next blister.

Photo: How to inhale 2

IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS

  • Read your entire leaflet before using Relenza. Even if you have had a previous prescription for Relenza, read the leaflet to see if any information has changed.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Always check inside the mouthpiece to make sure it is clear before each use. If foreign objects are in the mouthpiece, they could be inhaled and cause serious harm.
  • Always replace the cover after each use.
  • Throw away the DISKHALER after treatment is completed.
  • Store at 25°C (77°F)
  • REMEMBER: DO NOT give this medicine to anyone else.
  • Continue to take Relenza even if you start to feel better. Do not stop taking Relenza without talking to your doctor.
  • This DISKHALER is for use only with Relenza. Do not use the Relenza DISKHALER device with FLOVENT (fluticasone propionate) and do not use Relenza with the FLOVENT DISKHALER device.
 
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