Generic Name: Influenza Virus Vaccine (IN-floo-EN-za)Brand Name: Examples include Afluria and Fluzone

FluLaval is used for:

Protecting against certain strains of influenza (flu).

FluLaval 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 FluLaval if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in FluLaval , including eggs or egg products
  • 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 FluLaval :

Some medical conditions may interact with FluLaval . 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
  • if you are allergic to chicken, neomycin, polymyxin, rubber, latex, or thimerosal (a preservative)
  • 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-Barré syndrome

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with FluLaval . 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 FluLaval '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 FluLaval

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if FluLaval 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 FluLaval :

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

  • FluLaval is usually given once a year in September, October, or November.
  • FluLaval is given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Certain influenza vaccines are approved for use in children. Some children may need to receive more than one dose of the vaccine. Be sure to follow the vaccination schedule provided by your doctor.
  • Do not use FluLaval if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • If you miss a dose of FluLaval , contact your doctor right away.

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

Important safety information:

  • If you have a fever, cold, respiratory tract infection, or other illness, contact your doctor before you receive FluLaval . You may need to receive your injection at a later time.
  • FluLaval contains killed viruses. It cannot cause you to develop the flu.
  • FluLaval is not a cure for the flu. It must be given before you are exposed to the flu in order to be effective.
  • FluLaval is only effective for 1 flu season. You will need to receive the flu vaccine each year.
  • FluLaval is not effective against all strains of the flu virus. It may also not protect everyone who receives it.
  • FluLaval does not protect against other respiratory viruses.
  • Tell your doctor if you will be receiving any other vaccines.
  • Some of these products contain thimerosal (a preservative). If you have ever had an allergic reaction to thimerosal, ask your pharmacist if your product has thimerosal in it.
  • Use FluLaval with caution in the ELDERLY; its effectiveness may be decreased in elderly patients.
  • Caution is advised with using FluLaval in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially fever, muscle pain, and general body discomfort.
  • FluLaval should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 6 months old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • Some brands of FluLaval are not approved for use in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old. If the patient is a child, check with your doctor whether this brand is approved for children.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using FluLaval while you are pregnant. It is not known if FluLaval is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use FluLaval , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of FluLaval :

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:

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 FluLaval :

FluLaval is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using FluLaval at home, store FluLaval 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 FluLaval , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • FluLaval 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 FluLaval . 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.

  • FluLaval Consumer Overview
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  • Flulaval Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Flulaval Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
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  • Fluzone Prescribing Information (FDA)