Pronunciation: IN-floo-EN-za VYE-rus vak-SEEN
Common Brand Name(s): FluMist
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This medication is a vaccine against influenza (flu) virus. It is also called the seasonal flu vaccine. The vaccine works by helping the body produce immunity (protection) that will prevent you from getting the flu or lessen the seriousness of the infection. As with any vaccine, it may not fully protect everyone who receives it. Since different types of flu viruses cause infection every flu season, usually a new vaccine is produced and given for each flu season.
This form of the vaccine is given through the nose and is recommended for healthy children and adults. It is not recommended for people with a history of severe asthma or active wheezing. Consult your health care professional for more details.
How To Use
Read all vaccine information available from your health care professional before receiving the vaccine. If you have any questions, ask your health care professional.
If this vaccine is the first flu vaccination of a child aged 2 through 8 years, the child should receive a second dose (usually at least 1 month after the first dose). If a child in this age group has received this vaccine in a previous flu season, only one dose is given. Patients aged 9 years and older (including adults) should receive only one dose for each flu season.
To receive this vaccine, sit or stand upright with your head tilted back. A health care professional will spray the medication into each nostril, one at a time.
Cough, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, fever, headache, chills, or tiredness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your health care professional promptly.
Remember that your health care professional has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your health care professional.
Contact the health care professional for medical advice about side effects. The following numbers do not provide medical advice, but in the US you may report side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967. In Canada, you may call the Vaccine Safety Section at Public Health Agency of Canada at 1-866-844-0018.
Before receiving this vaccine, tell the health care professional if you are allergic to eggs; or if you have previously had a severe allergic reaction to flu vaccine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as gentamicin, gelatin, arginine), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your health care professional for more details.
Before receiving this vaccine, tell the health care professional your medical history, especially of:
- breathing problems (such as asthma, wheezing, chronic lung disease)
- current infection/fever
- history of Guillain-Barre syndrome
- immune system disorders (such as due to HIV infection, certain cancers such as leukemia/lymphoma, cancer or radiation treatment)
- kidney disease
This vaccine contains a weakened form of the flu virus. After receiving the vaccine, you may be able to infect others with flu for up to 3 weeks. Rarely, infections may occur in people in close contact with someone who has received this vaccine. Caution is advised if you have regular close contact with family/household members with weakened immune systems (for example, due to cancer).
Children aged 2 to 17 years who are taking aspirin should not receive this vaccine due to the risk for developing Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious condition. Also, children in this age group should not use products containing aspirin for 4 weeks after receiving this vaccine unless directed by the doctor. Consult the doctor for details.
This form of the vaccine is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Instead, a flu vaccine that is given by injection is recommended. Consult your health care professional for more details.
It is unknown if this vaccine passes into breast milk. Consult your health care professional before breast-feeding.
See also Precautions section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your health care professional. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this vaccine include:
- other vaccines
- other products applied in the nose
- drugs that weaken the immune system (including cyclosporine, tacrolimus, cancer chemotherapy, corticosteroids such as prednisone)
Avoid taking certain drugs that fight flu virus (e.g., amantadine, oseltamivir, rimantadine) when receiving this vaccine. If you are currently taking any of these drugs, you should not receive this vaccine until at least 48 hours after stopping treatment. Do not take any of these drugs until at least 2 weeks after receiving this vaccine.
This vaccine is usually given once for each flu season. If the health care professional prescribes a second dose (for a first vaccination in a child aged 2 through 8 years), and the child misses the second dose, contact the health care professional to set up a new appointment.
Store in the refrigerator. Keep product in the original carton to protect from light. Do not freeze. If necessary, this vaccine may be stored at room temperature only once (up to 25 degrees C or 77 degrees F) for up to 12 hours but must be returned to the refrigerator as soon as possible. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised March 2020.
Copyright(c) 2020 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.