Zanamivir is generally well tolerated. Bronchospasm and impaired lung function have been reported in some patients taking this medication, but many of these individuals had serious underlying pulmonary disease. Zanamivir should be discontinued if an individual develops bronchospasm or breathing difficulties; treatment and hospitalization may be required. Allergic reactions, including angioedema, have been rarely reported. The efficacy of zanamivir depends upon the proper use of the inhaler device.
Zanamivir is contraindicated in individuals with severe or decompensated chronic obstructive lung disease or asthma because it has not been shown to be effective in these individuals and can cause serious adverse pulmonary reactions. Individuals with mild to moderate asthma may have a decline in lung function when taking zanamivir. The safety and efficacy of this medication have not been determined in individuals with severe renal insufficiency. No clinically significant drug interactions have been reported. Zanamivir does not decrease the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine.
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