Generic Name: influenza virus vaccine (IN-floo-EN-za)
Brand Name: Examples include Afluria and Fluzone
Afluria is used for:
Protecting against certain strains of influenza (flu).
Afluria 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 Afluria if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Afluria, including egg proteins 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 Afluria:
Some medical conditions may interact with Afluria. 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 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 a bleeding problem (eg, hemophilia) or low blood platelet levels
- if you have immune system problems (eg, HIV, weakened immune system)
- if you are receiving radiation treatment or chemotherapy, or if you have recently received or will be receiving any other vaccines
- if you have a history of Guillain-BarrÃ© syndrome or other nervous system problems
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Afluria. 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 Afluria's effectiveness. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines may weaken the immune system
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Afluria 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 Afluria:
Use Afluria as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with some brands of Afluria. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- Afluria is usually given once a year in September, October, or November.
- Afluria 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 1 dose of the vaccine. Discuss your child's flu vaccine history with your doctor. Be sure to follow the vaccination schedule provided by your doctor.
- Do not use Afluria if it has been frozen, contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial or syringe is cracked or damaged.
- If you miss a dose of Afluria, contact your doctor right away.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Afluria.
Important safety information:
- Certain brands of Afluria may cause dizziness or fainting. Use Afluria with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- If you have a fever, cold, respiratory tract infection, or other illness, contact your doctor before you receive Afluria. You may need to receive your injection at a later time.
- Afluria is not a cure for the flu. It must be given before you are exposed to the flu in order to be effective.
- Afluria contains killed viruses. It cannot cause you to develop the flu.
- Afluria is only effective for 1 flu season. You will need to receive the flu vaccine each year.
- Afluria is not effective against all strains of the flu virus. It may also not protect everyone who receives it.
- Afluria does not protect against other respiratory infections.
- Tell your doctor if you have recently received or 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 doctor or pharmacist if your product has thimerosal in it.
- The tip cap of some of these products may contain natural rubber latex. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to latex, ask your doctor or pharmacist if your product has latex in it.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you have used Afluria before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Use Afluria with caution in the ELDERLY; its effectiveness may be decreased in elderly patients.
- Fever or seizures accompanied with fever have occurred in CHILDREN using certain brands of Afluria, especially in children who are younger than 5 years old. Contact your doctor if you have questions about this information.
- Caution is advised when using Afluria in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Afluria should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 6 months old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- Some brands of Afluria are not approved for use in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old. If the patient is a child, check with your doctor to determine whether this brand is approved for children.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if Afluria can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Afluria while you are pregnant. It is not known if Afluria is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Afluria, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of Afluria:
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:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Cough; diarrhea; general body discomfort; headache; irritability; mild bruising, hardening of the skin, pain, redness, swelling, or tenderness at the injection site; mild fever or chills; muscle aches; sore throat; stuffy nose; tiredness.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); burning, numbness, or tingling; decreased movement of the face muscles; decreased movement or sensation at or near the injection site; fainting; loss of appetite; muscle weakness; red, swollen, blistering, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent headache or fever; vision changes; vomiting.
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. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of Afluria:
Afluria is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Afluria at home, store Afluria 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.
- If you have any questions about Afluria, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Afluria 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.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Afluria or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Afluria. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Afluria. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Afluria.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.