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

FluLaval is used for:

Protecting against certain strains of influenza (flu) in patients 18 years old and older.

FluLaval 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 FluLaval if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in FluLaval, including thimerosal, or 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 FluLaval:

Some medical conditions may interact with FluLaval. 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 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-Barré syndrome or other nervous system problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with FluLaval. 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 FluLaval'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 FluLaval 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 FluLaval:

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

  • FluLaval is usually given once a year in September, October, or November.
  • FluLaval is given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use FluLaval if it has been frozen, contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • If you miss a dose of FluLaval, contact your doctor right away.

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

Important safety information:

  • FluLaval may cause dizziness or fainting. Use FluLaval 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 FluLaval. You may need to receive your injection at a later time.
  • FluLaval is not a cure for the flu. It must be given before you are exposed to the flu in order to be effective.
  • FluLaval contains killed viruses. It cannot cause you to develop the flu.
  • FluLaval is only effective for 1 flu season. You will need to receive the flu vaccine each year.
  • FluLaval is not effective against all strains of the flu virus. It may also not protect everyone who receives it.
  • FluLaval 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 take FluLaval before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Use FluLaval with caution in the ELDERLY; its effectiveness may be decreased in elderly patients.
  • FluLaval is not approved for use in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using FluLaval while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use FluLaval, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of FluLaval:

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:

General body discomfort; headache; mild fever or chills; mild pain, redness, swelling, or tenderness at the injection site; muscle or joint aches or pain; 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; chest pain; decreased movement of the face muscles; decreased movement or sensation in the arm or shoulder; eye pain; fainting; muscle weakness; seizures; severe or persistent headache or fever; tremor; 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 FluLaval:

FluLaval is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using FluLaval at home, store FluLaval 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 FluLaval, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • FluLaval 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 FluLaval 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 FluLaval. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to FluLaval. 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 FluLaval.

Issue Date: June 3, 2015

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.