Fluarix

Generic Name: Influenza Virus Vaccine (IN-floo-EN-za)Brand Name: Fluarix

Fluarix is used for:

Protecting against certain strains of influenza (flu).

Fluarix is a vaccine. It works by stimulating the body to produce antibodies against certain types of the flu virus, which helps your body to fight the infection.

Do NOT use Fluarix if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Fluarix , including eggs, egg products, or chicken
  • you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue) to a prior flu vaccination

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Fluarix :

Some medical conditions may interact with Fluarix . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances (including rubber or latex)
  • if you have a fever, cold, respiratory tract infection, or other infection or recent illness
  • if you have asthma or other breathing problems, a nervous system disorder, or blood or bleeding problems (eg, hemophilia, low blood platelet levels)
  • if you have cancer or immune system problems (eg, HIV, weakened immune system)
  • if you are receiving radiation treatment or chemotherapy
  • if you have a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Fluarix . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of bleeding at the injection site may be increased
  • Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) or other medicines that may weaken the immune system because they may decrease Fluarix 's effectiveness. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines may weaken the immune system
  • Phenytoin or theophylline because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Fluarix

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Fluarix may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Fluarix :

Use Fluarix as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Fluarix is usually given once a year in September, October, or November.
  • Fluarix is given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use Fluarix if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • If you miss a dose of Fluarix , contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Fluarix .

Important safety information:

  • If you have a fever, cold, respiratory tract infection, or other illness, contact your doctor before you receive Fluarix . You may need to receive your injection at a later time.
  • Fluarix contains killed viruses. It cannot cause you to develop the flu.
  • Fluarix is not a cure for the flu. It must be given before you are exposed to the flu in order to be effective.
  • Fluarix is only effective for 1 flu season. You will need to receive the flu vaccine each year.
  • Fluarix is not effective against all strains of the flu virus. It may also not protect everyone who receives it.
  • Fluarix does not protect against other respiratory viruses.
  • Tell your doctor if you will be receiving any other vaccines.
  • Use Fluarix with caution in the ELDERLY; its effectiveness may be decreased in elderly patients.
  • Fluarix should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Fluarix while you are pregnant. It is not known if Fluarix is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Fluarix , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Fluarix :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Fatigue; general body discomfort; headache; mild fever; mild pain, redness, swelling, or tenderness at the injection site; muscle aches.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); decreased movement of the face muscles; decreased movement or sensation in the arm or shoulder; muscle weakness; numbness or tingling of the hands or feet; severe or persistent headache or fever; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Fluarix :

Fluarix is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Fluarix at home, store Fluarix as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Fluarix , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Fluarix is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Fluarix . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

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