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Relenza

(38 Posts)
mummynumnum Thu 23-Jul-09 07:17:55

Think have s flu, although bearing up well and have yet to phone mid wife/GP. Can anyone tell me a bit more about relenza as dont know how safe it is in preg. Also have a daughter who suffers from feb convulsions. Are they likely to give her anti-virals as a precaution?

heron22 Thu 23-Jul-09 07:49:46

hi, relenza is safe to give in pregnancy because it is in powder form and will be given to you via an inhaler. being inhaled means it does not get into your blood stream, it goes direct to your lungs where it needs to be.

anti virals are not given as a precaution. how old is your daughter?
good luck!

notjustapuppymum Thu 23-Jul-09 15:46:42

Hi, relenza is THOUGHT to be safe during pregnancy because of house it is taken. However, it is not guaranteed as there is no research - it's an unclassified drug. My friend is a pharmacist and this info has come direct from her.

Squarah Thu 23-Jul-09 18:12:35

My friend is a public health doc who produces the current guidelines and he'd be happy for his pregnant wife to take it IF she had good-going symptoms such as a fever well over 38, not just 38.5 etc, plus a sore throat/cough/etc (or his daughter who's under one) - that was good enough for me if needed.

Stannie Thu 23-Jul-09 19:35:21

I'm quite worried - I am 29 + 3 and have suspected Swine Flu. Docs have prescribed Relenza (which due to an epic fark up but the Irish Government I can't seem to get ???? )

I did some research and found this

^Pregnancy: The safe use of Relenza during pregnancy has not been established.
In rats and rabbits zanamivir has been shown to cross the placenta. High doses of zanamivir were not associated with malformations in rats or rabbits and only minor alterations were reported. The potential risk for humans is unknown. Relenza should not be used in pregnancy unless the expected benefit to the mother is thought to outweigh any possible risk to the foetus.
Lactation: In rats zanamivir has been shown to be secreted into milk. There is no information on secretion into breast milk in humans.
The use of zanamivir is not recommended in mothers who are breast feeding^

From this site

Can anyone shed any more light ?

notjustapuppymum Thu 23-Jul-09 19:58:14

Squarah - thanks for that, that's really useful. That's what I was thinking....that I would only take it if I had bad symptoms and a temperature. My brother has got it so keeping well away and hoping I don't have to make this decision...

mummynumnum Thu 23-Jul-09 20:39:24

Thought I was feeling better but temp 38.0 at mo and is coming down with paracetomol but now had 8 in 24 hours and panicking about not being able to take any to 3 in morn now. not sure what temp will do without paracetomol.

mogend77 Fri 24-Jul-09 10:36:38

As I understand it the tests on animals were done with extremely high doses compared to the doses given to pregnant women. As for bf, though the leaflet says it is not advised, the NHS guidlines, Hale (the book used by BFCs etc.) and all BFCs I have talked to are completely happy about bf & relenza. And those NHS guidleines are aimed at newborns (within 6 hours of birth) so for odler babies even better. It does get into milk but in tiny quantities. It also has a short half-life (2-5 hours) so is out of milk very soon.

FWIW I am 29 weeks pregnant (and asthmatic), breastfeeding a toddler and last night I finished a course of Relenza. I am a big worrier, but did my research and even I, who can worry for Britain, am completely happy with my decision to have taken relenza both during pregnancy and breastfeeding. I would have been much more worried about not taking it. For me, it was a clear case of a fairly straightforward risk/benefit analysis. And my temp wasn't even that high (though might have been higher without paracetamol) but it was high for me. I got away with a mild dose of flu but am still very wiped out and need to be careful for a good while yet.

Do bear in mind that watch & wait is only valid up to a point with antivirals as they do need to be given early on in the course of the illness.

mummynumnum Fri 24-Jul-09 10:44:29

And cant believe that the collection point is sixteen miles away and not at the big hosp up the road.

tryingtobemarypoppins Fri 24-Jul-09 10:45:26

How are you doing mummynummum?

mogend77 Fri 24-Jul-09 10:51:24

Have you got someone who can go for you? My collection point was in a very strange place.

mummynumnum Fri 24-Jul-09 10:53:34

My husband will go and leave work if necessary. It is about the third day of feeling ill and wondering if it is too late to start taking anti-virals now?

mogend77 Fri 24-Jul-09 11:02:47

They can give it to you for up to 7 days, though ideally it is within 2. Still worth it probably. I had a difficult one because I had felt like I was incubating something for about 3 days before it became obviously flu-like so I wasn't sure if I was on day 1 or day 4. But my temp came much more under control relatively quickly following the start of treatment, so I am pretty sure in my case it did help with that at least.

mummynumnum Fri 24-Jul-09 11:10:50

Its all so worrying and know a doc who is v concerned about the anti virals and the risk to pregnancy. Such dilemma

mogend77 Fri 24-Jul-09 11:28:47

It is all very worrying. Hugs for the worry.

I take heart from these facts:

All HPs I have spoken to are happy with Relenza

Drug companies are VERY sensitive to litigation these days and if anything are usually over cautious

The passage from Hale sounded reassuring

It is inhaled so very unlikely to pass through the blood stream

At my stage in pregnancy the baby is pretty resilient as I understand it. I don't know how far you are but if you are in the later stages (when the SF risk is highest anyway) this is I think reassuring.

I can't pretend to have been delighted about having probable swine flu or having to take medicine! It's a horribly anxious time. I really do feel for you as I have been in the same boat. I am certainly not trying to persuade you - only to persuade you that if you do decide to go with the Relenza, there are plenty of reasons not to punish yourself for it.

More hugs for the worry.

mummynumnum Fri 24-Jul-09 11:33:57

Thanks. Mumsnet has been a god send this week!

FanjolinaJolie Fri 24-Jul-09 12:30:09

Mummynumnum - keep up your fluids as much as poss, it will help to keep you hydrated. Hope your temp is coming down.

mummynumnum Fri 24-Jul-09 13:40:15

The pharmacy need to go to is 16 miles away and phoned them and said to try ones in local area. Found one but said have to go to the one directed to as they will have details. How bonkers is that?

babybarrister Fri 24-Jul-09 15:44:37

by the way anyone who is allergic to milk or has lactose intolerance should not take Relenza as contains lactose and possibly milk protein as well ....

muddle78 Fri 24-Jul-09 18:12:23

what worries me the most is the nonsensical claim that, "It is inhaled so very unlikely to pass through the blood stream" how stupid do they think we are? hmm

ok then i guess smoking is fine then if it doesn't get into the blood stream?!!!

when such a rediculus claim is made it makes me question all the other advice given im afraid. i for one have a big bottle of herbal (made by a qualified medical herbalist) actute infection mix waiting for me should i get swine flu. im 5 months and wear a face mask im crowded places as part of my preventative strategy (this is what some other countrys are recomending pregnant women to do).

caci Fri 24-Jul-09 18:38:41

How could you say that your "qualified herbalist"s (whatever that means) concoction is safer than antivirals. those are tried and tested under strict circumstances that if anything goes wrong they know you can sue them for millions. I would not dare taking any herbal medicine during pregnancy, how can you trust any mixture/ tincture that it is safe.

mogend77 Fri 24-Jul-09 18:40:16

Well it's the same principal as with asthma meds, which have been in use in pregnancy for donkey's years and are deemed safe, so there is some precedent. It's also 10 doses over 5 days in a whole pregnancy. The tiny quantities which might pass through the placenta hardly compare to smoking throughout a pregnancy.

Also smoking ONLY confers harm and no benefits. There's a risk-benefit analysis to be done wth meds in pregnancy, and a mother who can't breathe effectively is of little use to the baby so I have been extremely grateful for my inhaled meds of both kinds this week. I don't consider the logic ridiculous in the slightest - no they can't guarantee it's safe of course (how many pregnant women step forward for drugs trials?) but it does offer potential benefits at an apparently low risk. It is clearly not ridiculous.

I am afraid, whilst I am not sceptical about herbal treatments altogether, and whilst I am well aware that drug companies want to make a profit, I also am glad I don't have to rely purely on herbal medicines, which are no more tested than relenza and are equally potent drugs, to help me breathe through this pregnancy.

mummynumnum Fri 24-Jul-09 19:27:29

well managed to get it from pharmacy down round and not 16 miles away!

Pharmacist said obv unlicensed for preg women but high temps v bad for babies as well!

mogend77 Fri 24-Jul-09 19:49:57

That was my thinking too (about the high temps). Hope you make a speedy recovery. Now tell me how long it takes you to fathom out the instructions! My head was not very clear at the time, but even so, I was most baffled at first!

mummynumnum Fri 24-Jul-09 21:46:46

My husband seems to be in charge of telling me what to do!

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