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Safety information about Relenza

(17 Posts)
dikkertjedap Thu 30-Jul-09 17:23:39

I was looking if GSK had any update on their vaccine development, didn't find anything. However, I did find this (

Important Safety Information on Relenza

Some patients have had bronchospasm (wheezing) or serious breathing
problems when they used Relenza. Many but not all of these patients had
previous asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Relenza has not
been shown to shorten the duration of influenza in people with these diseases. Because of the risk of side effects and because it has not been shown to help them, Relenza is not recommended for people with chronic respiratory disease such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

If you develop worsening respiratory symptoms such as wheezing or shortness
of breath, stop using Relenza and contact your healthcare provider right away.

If you have chronic respiratory disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and your healthcare provider has prescribed Relenza, you should have a fast-acting, inhaled bronchodilator available for your use. If you
are scheduled to use an inhaled bronchodilator at the same time as Relenza,
use the inhaled bronchodilator before using Relenza.

Other kinds of infections can appear like influenza or occur along with influenza, and need different kinds of treatment. Contact your healthcare provider if you feel worse or develop new symptoms during or after treatment, or if your influenza symptoms do not start to get better.

In studies, the most common side effects with Relenza have been headaches; diarrhea; nausea; vomiting; nasal irritation; bronchitis; cough; sinusitis; ear,
nose, and throat infections; and dizziness. Other side effects that have been reported, but were not as common, include rashes and allergic reactions, some
of which were severe.

This list of side effects is not complete. Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can discuss with you a more complete list of possible side effects with Relenza. Talk to your healthcare provider promptly about any side effects you have.

mumblechum Thu 30-Jul-09 17:31:35

Thanks for sharing, but surely anyone using any drug should check the instructions? All drugs have POSSIBLE side effects, however rare.

stuffitlllama Thu 30-Jul-09 18:23:15

Mumblechum did you read the package inserts of the vaccines you gave

I think it's helpful.

mumblechum Fri 31-Jul-09 10:28:36

Huh? I didn't give anyone any vaccine. I'm not a medic.

stuffitlllama Fri 31-Jul-09 11:26:51

I mean, if your children were vaccinated, did you read the package inserts? Just in response to "surely anyone should check the instructions".

mosschops30 Fri 31-Jul-09 11:36:02

If you read side effects of contraindications and side effects of paracetamol (plus the fact that they still have no idea how it works) you wouldnt take it.

I think the best advice is 'where the benefits outweigh the risks just take the bloody stuff'

yummymummy310 Fri 31-Jul-09 11:45:08

well said!! x

stuffitlllama Fri 31-Jul-09 14:05:19

ignorance is bliss i suppose

just close your eyes and hope for the best

maybe ok for you

not for my kid

mosschops30 Fri 31-Jul-09 14:42:40

its not ignorance, its common sense!!

If you take that view you wouldnt walk down the street fgs.
Would you let 'your kid' have an operation, given the risks of GA??

Weigh it up, if relenza or tamiflu is going to shorten a potentially life threatening illness then take it!

dikkertjedap Fri 31-Jul-09 14:53:04

The reason I posted this information was because this was the first time I noticed it on GSK website in such a prominent position.
What might be changing is that now far more people are taking tamiflu and relenza than ever before thus resulting in a lot more information becoming available about possible side effects. I agree that this does not necessarily matter as long as the benefits outweigh the risks but you can only make that judgment once you know the risks. This article seems to say that especially for people with asthma or pulmonary disease taking relenza could be very dangerous (anybody who has ever had a really serious asthma attack will no doubt know what I mean). Does this matter? Yes, because the expectation in some quarters is that swine flu is likely to become tamiflu resistant in the next year or so but the expectation is also that relenza would still be effective. This then raises the question: would you take it or not if you are a severe asthmatic? I rather think about these things in advance then having to decide on the spot.

mosschops30 Fri 31-Jul-09 15:16:54

but you did not raise that question in your OP. It was just a cut and paste about side effects of a drug

stuffitlllama Fri 31-Jul-09 15:20:51

actually i know the risks of walking down the street and i choose to accept them

so i like to know the risks of medication

and no, i have refused a baby a minor operation because of the ga

I wouldn't give tamiflu because I would have weighed up the risks

i think dikker just wanted to let people know .. most people don't read about the side effects and contraindications..they accept the recommendation of their dr

Naetha Fri 31-Jul-09 15:25:35

So as a pregnant asthmatic, am I meant to just take it, and hope for the best?

That's if I can even get the stuff - me and DH have been dx with piggy flu, but have nobody else to go and get it for us. Have contacted the PCT, but no response from them after 3 hours.


mosschops30 Fri 31-Jul-09 15:48:05

Naetha, as a pg asthmatic also I will take it and hope for the best yes. But like you say its an individual decision.

If you read the BNF, it gives the same advice for Tamiflu and for Relenza, so Im not sure it makes much difference.

stuffit - totally your choice, I dont care if you take it or not, i just think the side effects of a medication should always be taken with a hmm, as I said earlier, paracetamol is a classic example

Naetha Fri 31-Jul-09 16:05:26

Well yeah, also the way they test medicines is so hazy when it comes to pregnant women. Most unlicenced (for pregnant women) medicined would generally be fine, it's just the drug companies covering their backs.

mosschops30 Fri 31-Jul-09 16:20:38

yes and its for that reason that they list every possible side effect under the sun when they print leaflets with drugs. Caution, caution, caution, drug companies do not want to be exposed and dragged through the media and the courts over drugs.

muddle78 Sun 02-Aug-09 18:43:03

im with you stuffitlllama grin

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