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Been prescribed relenza. Should I take?

(25 Posts)
pooka Mon 20-Jul-09 12:25:08

Well dd has had temp with no particularly bad symptoms other than being hot. Started on Friday, still going now. So on advice of NHS rang GP.

GP is great. I like her. She said completely unconcerned about dd, may or may not be swine flu, but just to carry on with paracetamol and basically what we're already doing.

Then she said it's you (i.e. me) that I really worried about. I don't have any major symptoms. No raised temp. Slight sore throat. Bit tired. But then am 34weeks pregnant so I wouldn't be surprised about the tired bit!

Anyway - she said that she was going to prescribe relenza and that if she was me and pregnant and in contact with someone who may have SF, she would be taking the relenza. It may apparently do nothing. It may be a help. But that I would regret it if I didn't take and things went wrong

So now I have dilemma. DH is collecting the script. I have googled side effects (as you do) and am really sceptical while not wanting to do anything to put the pregnancy/baby/myself at risk.

Added complication is that tis dd's b'day party this weekend. I have no idea whether I should be keeping her off school once her temp is under control. I have no idea whether we will be turned back at the border when we go to DIsneyland Paris on monday. I have not got a clue what to do. My mind is all befuddled.

What I was wondering was whether anyone has actually had relenza and how they found it. And just seeking opinions about dd - I was planning to send her back to school once she reached 24 hours with no meds needed to keep her temp normal (prob wednesday, last day of term). And for us all, subject to dh being fine, and ds, to go to disney as planned on Monday. Or is that hellishly blase and risky?

Sorry for long ramble - am a bit shellshocked as was fully expecting the (usually sane) doctor to agree with my previous take which was that if I got a temp or was really unwell, I would seek medical advice but that in general everyone is worrying about nothing, so run along now and forget about it. Rather than being prescribed anti-virals!

mumblechum Mon 20-Jul-09 12:28:36

I think you should take the Relenza. All drugs have side effects and the co. has to tell you about them but for the vast majority of people they won't experience any side effects. Relenza, unlike Tamiflu, doesn't affect the baby.

pooka Mon 20-Jul-09 13:25:00

You see, usually I am really very rational. But I suppose my problem is that dd had full blown flu before christmas and was really ill for about 5 days. Now she doesn't seem so bad....

yappybluedog Mon 20-Jul-09 13:28:12

shock at your doctor, is it really that serious?

i would take it, baby won't be affected

pooka Mon 20-Jul-09 13:28:53

So maybe probably not SF. So no need for antivirals for symptomless me.....?

Oh well - will have a pnder when the drugs actually arrive. But the GP did sound concerned...

FabBakerGirlIsBack Mon 20-Jul-09 13:29:47

I would take it.

The GP wouldn't have given it to you if you didn't need it and SF can be awful so with being pregnant too it would be really bad.

pooka Mon 20-Jul-09 13:30:50

Yes - was also shock

She is not a worrier normally. Is v. trustworthy. I did ask what would happen if I had the stuff and then in a month the kids defo get it. She said she'd just prescribe it again - so isn't like a one-shot medicine.

Ninjacat Mon 20-Jul-09 14:28:04

I am at home with sore throat, ear ache, bit wheezy etc etc. My Dr's advise was that I should not take Relenza because it has not been tested for affects on fetus and he would not want to give it to me unless I had a particularly high temp. Apparently I've also had symptoms for too long now for it to do much good any way.
Not trying to scare you out of taking it just interesting the conflicting advise that is being given out.

pooka Mon 20-Jul-09 14:51:17

Oh no Ninjacat - not scared. Agree that it is the fact that there doesn't seem to be a party line, or at least non-conflicting advice, that is causing more worry than is necessary IMO.

TBH I really don't know what I'll do. When dh gets the stuff I'll have another think. I may (depending upon shelf life) hold steady for a short while to see whether I develop any symptoms.

On a brighter note, dd seems much much better. Has eaten a good lunch and while her temp is still over 38, isn't complaining of shivers or feeling hot/cold. And emphatically refused calpol when ordinarily would take like a shot if she was feeling poorly.

LeninGrad Mon 20-Jul-09 15:17:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pooka Mon 20-Jul-09 15:22:11

I think that sounds like a good plan LG. The temp is what I'm watching out for, and has been the main thing wrong with dd.

Me, I feel OK.

lal123 Mon 20-Jul-09 15:24:40

as far as relenza is concerned the BNF says "manufacturer advises use only if potential benefit outweighs risk - no information available" - well thats a lot of use isn't it????

Ninjacat Mon 20-Jul-09 16:57:45

Pooka glad your dd is feeling ok.
I forgot to point out that I'm 22weeks pregnant.
From what I can gather it's the temp and an increased risk of pneumonia that are the risks.
I think it sounds like you are being sensible in your approach. There is a 48hr window from the start of symptoms but after that anti virals are apparently not much use.
I wish some one would tell us the risks of the AVs compared to the risks of the flu so we could make better informed decisions.
Also what don't know for deff if ds does have it and you then come into contact with it at a later date? Do you have to take another course?

My dr did also say that the people who reacted badly to SF went down hill very quickly. I just feel like I have a drawn out head cold (which is probably what I do have)

LeninGrad you sound very sensible too. I'm glad to hear people are able to see reason through the hysteria.

Ninjacat Mon 20-Jul-09 17:01:15

Sorry that sentence was supposed to read:

Also what if you don't know for deff if dd does have it and you then come into contact with it at a later date? Do you have to take another course?

I should read through before posting.

pooka Mon 20-Jul-09 17:06:59

Ah well can help with that question - I asked my GP and she said she would prescribe another round if the children subsequently became ill with something plainly obvious to be swine flu.

Still not sure of the logic.

And am also still pretty certain that dd hasn't got flu. Or rather not flu as we know it in this house - saw her with that at Christmas and was not a pretty sight!

LeninGrad Mon 20-Jul-09 18:34:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pooka Mon 20-Jul-09 18:54:01

Well have had a good read of the leaflet with the rather scary inhaler contraption and I wasn't aware that it was a drug that could be given even if the person is asymptomatic. I.e. can be prescribed if the patient may have been in contact with someone who may have flu. If taking with symptoms, then is taken in a different dose to the prophylaxis dosage. I've obviously been prescribed the prophylaxis one.

INteresting...

Carrie06 Mon 20-Jul-09 19:11:29

I think the advantage of relenza is that it is locally acting, ie to the lungs rather than acting more systemically like tamiflu and crossing the blood/placental barrier.

maxbear Mon 20-Jul-09 19:36:25

I was in the same situation as you last week in that ds had a very high temp so as a precaution they gave him a course of tamiflu without really knowing if he had sf or not. I am 13 weeks pregnant and they advised that I should be treated only if I developed symptoms, but that if I did, I should be treated as soon as possible. Anyway ds recovered and none of the rest of us got it, so I am extremely sceptical that he actually had it.

Ninjacat Mon 20-Jul-09 21:38:29

Thanks for clearing that one up Pooka
I had heard that people would only be prescribed one dose of TamiFlu.

pooka Mon 20-Jul-09 21:55:55

Well, that's what the GP said! wink

Have to say that looking in the leaflet I can see nothing that suggests that it can't be used more than once. Will double check though.....

Musukebba Mon 20-Jul-09 22:27:54

Relenza is used both as prophylaxis and treatment; it's simply the dosing frequency and period (prophylaxis is once a day for 10 days) that changes. It can be taken on successive courses.

@pooka: you have been prescribed it as prophylaxis and to be honest your GP has very intelligently interpreted the somewhat confusing guidelines. Both Tamiflu and Relenza are better at prophylaxis than treatment and in a close family exposure situation, it would be worth taking IMO.

LeninGrad Tue 21-Jul-09 06:49:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pooka Tue 21-Jul-09 07:35:24

THanks Musukebba.

I have actually decided to take. Felt odd inhaling it, but having weighed up pros and cons think is right decision for us.

Incidentally dd is much much better this morning. Slept through for the first time since Friday, temperature fine. Will give her a day of recovery with no (hopefully) fever and then send her into school for the last day of term tomorrow, I think. She is desperate to go back.

I still really doubt that what she had was swine flu, although what confuses me is the fact that other people have said that the H1N1 flu can be relatively mild in comparison to seasonal flu. So what tells me this wasn't (the fact that she's bounced back quicker and not been so ill as she was before christmas) doesn't necessarily mean much at all....

blondieminx Tue 21-Jul-09 18:54:34

Hi all,

15+2 here, was prescribed Relenza last Wednesday. I did take it too, based on the GP saying that since I'm past 12 weeks the baby is formed, it just needs to grow, and on the MW saying that anything that's designed to shorten the life of the flu virus can only be a good thing as then the mother is back to full health sooner.

Having said all that, I felt REALLY ill for 6 whole days and its only today that I've started to feel a bit better - so I'm not sure whether it did shorten the life of the bug!

The worst thing about having flu whilst pg is the fact you can only have paracetamol which doesn't really get rid of that dreadful leaden achey feeling...

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