Influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine

Generic Name: influenza a (h1n1) virus vaccine (IN-floo-EN-za)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine is used for:

Protecting against influenza (flu) disease caused by the H1N1 virus.

Influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine is a vaccine. It works by stimulating the body to produce antibodies against the influenza A (H1N1) flu virus, which helps your body to fight the infection.

Do NOT use influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine, or to arginine or gentamicin
  • you are allergic to eggs, egg products, or gelatin
  • 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 asthma or active wheezing
  • the patient is a child younger than 5 years old with a history of recurring wheezing
  • the patient is a child or teenager who is also taking aspirin or another salicylate

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

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

Before using influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine:

Some medical conditions may interact with influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine. 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 a history of 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 or Reye syndrome

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Antiviral medicines (eg, amantadine, oseltamivir), corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), or medicines that weaken the immune system because they may decrease influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine'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 influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine 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 influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine:

Use influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine is given as a nasal spray at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
  • If you have been taking an antiviral medicine to prevent or treat the flu (eg, amantadine, oseltamivir, rimantadine), do not use influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine 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 influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Some children may need to receive more than one dose of influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine. Be sure to follow the vaccination schedule provided by your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine.

Important safety information:

  • You may "shed" the flu virus for a period of time after receiving influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine. 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 influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine.
  • Influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine is not a cure for the flu. It must be given before you are exposed to the flu in order to be effective.
  • Influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine is only effective for 1 flu season. You will need to receive the flu vaccine each year.
  • Influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine does not protect everyone who receives it. It does not protect against other respiratory viruses.
  • Tell your doctor if you will be receiving any other vaccines.
  • Influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine is not approved for use in patients over 49 years old
  • Caution is advised when using influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially ear infection, fever, or stomach pain.
  • Influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old; the risk of wheezing 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 influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine while you are pregnant. It is not known if influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine:

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:

Chills; cough; decreased appetite; headache; mild fever (in children); muscle aches; nasal congestion; runny nose; sore throat; stomach pain; tiredness or 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, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); decreased movement of the face muscles; ear pain; muscle weakness; numbness or tingling of the hands or feet; severe or persistent headache, fever, or chills; shortness of breath or wheezing; 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. 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 ( http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine:

Influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine at home, store influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine 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 influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine 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 influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine. 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 influenza a (H1N1) virus vaccine.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
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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