Intanza

Active Substance: A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-derived strain A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like strain B/Massachusetts/02/2012
Common Name: influenza vaccine (split virion, inactivated)
ATC Code: J07BB02
Marketing Authorisation Holder: Sanofi Pasteur MSD, SNC
Active Substance: A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-derived strain A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like strain B/Massachusetts/02/2012
Status: Authorised
Authorisation Date: 2009-02-24
Therapeutic Area: Influenza, Human Immunization
Pharmacotherapeutic Group: Vaccines

Therapeutic Indication

9 micrograms/strain

Prophylaxis of influenza in adults up to 59 years of age, especially in those who run an increased risk of associated complications.

The use of Intanza should be based on official recommendations.

15 micrograms/strain

Prophylaxis of influenza in individuals 60 years of age and over, especially in those who run an increased risk of associated complications.

The use of Intanza should be based on official recommendations.

What is Intanza?

Intanza is a vaccine, which is available as a suspension for injection in a pre‑filled syringe. The vaccine contains fragments of influenza (flu) viruses that have been inactivated (killed). Intanza contains three different strains (types) of influenza virus (A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-derived strain, A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like strain and B/Massachusetts/02/2012).

What is Intanza used for?

Intanza is used to vaccinate adults against flu, especially those who are at an increased risk of developing complications of the disease. The use of the vaccine should be based on official recommendations. Adults up to the age of 59 years receive the lower strength (containing 9 micrograms of each virus strain). People aged 60 years and over receive the higher strength (15 micrograms of each virus strain).

The vaccine can only be obtained with a prescription.

How is Intanza used?

Intanza is given as one ‘intradermal’ injection into the upper layer of the skin, using a special micro‑injection system. The shoulder is the recommended site of injection.

How does Intanza work?

Intanza is a vaccine. Vaccines work by ‘teaching’ the immune system (the body’s natural defences) how to defend itself against a disease. Intanza contains fragments from three different strains of flu virus. When a person is given the vaccine, the immune system recognises the virus fragments as ‘foreign’ and makes antibodies against them. In the future, the immune system will be able to produce antibodies more quickly when it is exposed to any of these virus strains. The antibodies will then help to protect against the disease caused by these strains of flu virus.

Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) makes recommendations on which flu strains should be included in vaccines for the upcoming flu season. These virus strains need to be included in Intanza before the vaccine can be used. Intanza currently contains fragments of the virus strains that are expected to cause flu in the 2013/2014 season, according to the recommendations from the WHO for the northern hemisphere and from the European Union (EU). The virus strains in Intanza will need to be replaced again before the vaccine can be used in subsequent seasons.

How has Intanza been studied?

The effectiveness of Intanza was first assessed in five main studies involving almost 9,000. Two of the studies looked at people under the age of 60 years, who were vaccinated with the 9‑microgram strength. The other three studies looked at people aged 60 years and over, who were vaccinated with the 15‑microgram strength.

In all studies, Intanza was compared with another flu vaccine given by injection into a muscle. In one study in people aged 60 years and over, Intanza was compared with a flu vaccine containing an adjuvant (a compound added to enhance the immune response). The studies compared the ability of the vaccines to trigger the production of antibodies (immunogenicity) by comparing antibody levels before injection and three weeks afterwards.

The immunogenicity and safety of the current formulation of the vaccine has been confirmed in 130 adults, 65 of whom were aged 60 years or older.

What benefit has Intanza shown during the studies?

In the five original studies, both Intanza and the comparator vaccine brought about adequate levels of antibodies for protection against all three flu strains. In adults below 60 years, the 9‑microgram strength provided as good a level of protection as the intramuscular vaccine. In people aged 60 years and over, the 15‑microgram strength provided as good a level of protection as the comparator vaccines.

The current formulation of Intanza for the 2013/2014 season brought about similar antibody responses against the three flu strains included in the vaccine to those seen in the main studies.

What is the risk associated with Intanza?

The most common side effects with Intanza (seen in more than 1 patient in 10) are headache, myalgia (muscle pain) and local reactions at the site of the vaccination (redness, swelling, hardening of the skin, pain and itching). For the full list of all side effects reported with Intanza, see the package leaflet.

Intanza must not be used in people who are hypersensitive (allergic) to the active substances, to any of the other ingredients, or to any component that may be present in very small amounts such as egg (ovalbumin, chicken proteins), neomycin, formaldehyde or octoxinol 9. People who have a fever or an acute (short-lived) infection should not receive the vaccine until they have recovered.

Why has Intanza been approved?

The CHMP decided that Intanza’s benefits are greater than its risks and recommended that it be given marketing authorisation.

Other information about Intanza

The European Commission granted a marketing authorisation valid throughout the EU for Intanza on 24 February 2009.

For more information about treatment with Intanza, read the package leaflet (also part of the EPAR) or contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Source: European Medicines Agency

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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