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Zanamivir is used in the treatment and prevention of swine flu (h1n1)

How it works

Zanamivir kills the virus by blocking the chemicals required for its growth. Thus stops the virus from spreading in the body.

Common side effects

Nausea, Vomiting, Joint pain, Chills, Fever, Sinus inflammation, Dizziness, Abdominal pain, Diarrhoea

Available Medicine

No medicine available

Expert advice

  • Stop using zanamivir and seek medical attention immediately if you develop breathing trouble or wheezing or shortness of breath.
  • Inform your doctor if you have or ever had any of the following medical conditions: asthma or other breathing problems; bronchitis (swelling of the air passages); emphysema (damage to air sacs in the lungs).
  • Take necessary precaution to avoid spreading of influenza.
  • Do not take zanamivir if you have received intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine within the past 2 weeks or planning to receive such vaccines within next 2 days.
  • Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks as zanamivir may cause dizziness.
  • Do not consume alcohol as it may worsen the side effects.
  • Patients with flu who take zanamivir may have an increased risk of confusion and unusual behavioral changes, more commonly in children. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice symptoms of confusion or any other unusual behavioral changes.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is zanamivir over the counter drug?
No. Zanamivir is not over the counter drug, one needs doctor's prescription to buy it
Q. How is zanamivir administered?
Zanamivir is a powdered medicine which can be inhaled through mouth using the inhaler device.

Content on this page was last updated on 25 April, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)