FluMist

Generic Name: influenza virus vaccine (IN-floo-EN-za)
Brand Name: Examples include FluMist and FluMist Quadrivalent.

FluMist is used for:

Protecting against certain strains of influenza (flu) in patients 2 through 49 years of age.

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

Do NOT use FluMist if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in FluMist (including egg proteins, gelatin, arginine, or gentamicin) or to 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
  • you have severe asthma or active wheezing
  • the patient is a child or teenager who is also taking a medicine that contains aspirin or another salicylate

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

Before using FluMist:

Some medical conditions may interact with FluMist. 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 have a fever, cold, respiratory tract infection, or other infection or recent illness
  • if you have immune system problems (eg, HIV, weakened immune system) or you live with someone who has a weakened immune system
  • if you have a history of asthma or other breathing problems, or if the patient is a child younger than 5 years old with a history of wheezing
  • if you have heart problems, kidney problems, lung problems, or diabetes
  • if you are receiving radiation treatment or chemotherapy, or 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 FluMist. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Antiviral medicines (eg, amantadine, oseltamivir, rimantadine, zanamivir) or corticosteroids (eg, prednisone) or other medicines that weaken the immune system because they may decrease FluMist'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 FluMist 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 FluMist:

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

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with FluMist. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • FluMist is usually given once a year in September, October, or November.
  • FluMist is given as a nasal spray at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • If you have been taking an antiviral medicine to prevent or treat the flu (eg, amantadine, oseltamivir, rimantadine), do not use FluMist for at least 48 hours after treatment with the antiviral medicine has stopped. Do not take antiviral medicines for at least 2 weeks after you use FluMist, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Some children may need to receive more than 1 dose of FluMist. Discuss your child's flu vaccine history with your doctor. Be sure to follow the vaccination schedule provided by your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of FluMist, contact your doctor right away.

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

Important safety information:

  • If you have a fever, cold, respiratory tract infection, or other illness, contact your doctor before you receive FluMist. You may need to receive your injection at a later time.
  • You may "shed" the flu virus for a period of time after receiving FluMist. If you will be in close contact with someone who has a weakened immune system, talk with your doctor. You may need to avoid contact with certain people who have a weakened immune system for a period of time after you take FluMist.
  • FluMist is not a cure for the flu. It must be given before you are exposed to the flu in order to be effective.
  • FluMist is only effective for 1 flu season. You will need to receive the flu vaccine each year.
  • FluMist is not effective against all strains of the flu virus. It may also not protect everyone who receives it.
  • FluMist does not protect against other respiratory infections.
  • Tell your doctor if you have recently received or will be receiving any other vaccines.
  • FluMist is not approved for use in patients older than 49 years old.
  • FluMist should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old; the risk of wheezing and hospitalizations may be increased 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 FluMist while you are pregnant. It is not known if FluMist is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use FluMist, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of FluMist:

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:

Cough; decreased activity, decreased appetite, irritability, or stomach pain in children; headache; mild fever or chills; muscle aches; runny or stuffy nose; sore throat; tiredness; weakness.

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; chest pain; decreased movement of the face muscles; ear pain or discharge; light-headedness; muscle weakness; severe or persistent headache, fever, chills, or sore throat; shortness of breath; symptoms of meningitis (eg, mental or mood changes, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, severe headache, stiff neck); unusual tiredness or weakness; wheezing.

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 FluMist:

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

General information:

  • If you have any questions about FluMist, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • FluMist 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 FluMist 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 FluMist. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to FluMist. 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 FluMist.

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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