Fluarix

Generic Name: influenza virus vaccine (IN-floo-EN-za)
Brand Name: Fluarix

Fluarix is used for:

Protecting against certain strains of influenza (flu) in patients 3 years old and older.

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 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.

Slideshow: Block the Flu: Top 11 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Flu Vaccine Now

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 a bleeding problems (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-Barré syndrome or other nervous system problems

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

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.
  • Some children may need to receive more than 1 dose of Fluarix. Discuss your child's flu vaccine history with your doctor. Be sure to follow the vaccination schedule provided by your doctor.
  • Do not use Fluarix if it has been frozen, contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the syringe 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:

  • Fluarix may cause dizziness or fainting. Use Fluarix 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 Fluarix. You may need to receive your injection at a later time.
  • 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 contains killed viruses. It cannot cause you to develop the flu.
  • 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 infections.
  • Tell your doctor if you have recently received or will be receiving any other vaccines.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you have used Fluarix before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • 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.
  • Use Fluarix with caution in the ELDERLY; its effectiveness may be decreased in elderly patients.
  • Fluarix is not approved for use in CHILDREN younger than 3 years old; its effectiveness may be decreased in these children.
  • 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:

Diarrhea; drowsiness; general body discomfort; headache; irritability; loss of appetite; mild fever; mild hardening of the skin, pain, redness, swelling, or tenderness at the injection site; muscle aches; tiredness.

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, throat, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); burning, numbness, or tingling; decreased movement of the face muscles; decreased movement or sensation in the arm or shoulder; fainting; muscle weakness; red, swollen, blistered, 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 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.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Fluarix 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 Fluarix. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Fluarix. 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 Fluarix.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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.

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