Fluarix is vaccine against "the flu" (influenza). Influenza vaccination should be repeated each year before the start of the flu season, September to early November.
Fluarix is a vaccine to help protect against the influenza virus in adults and children aged six months and older. Fluarix is an inactivated vaccine that cannot cause "the flu" but stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies that protect against it. The full effect of the vaccine is generally achieved approximately 3 weeks after vaccination.
Fluarix is available in an injectable form to be given directly into the muscle by a healthcare professional.
Common side effects include injection site tenderness, fever, muscle aches and tiredness.
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Uses of Fluarix
Fluarix is a vaccine approved for use in persons 6 months of age and older to prevent influenza A subtype viruses and type B virus.
This vaccine may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Side Effects of Fluarix
Serious side effects have been associated with Fluarix. See "Fluarix Precautions" section.
Common side effects of Fluarix include the following:
- injection site reaction that can appear as pain, redness, tenderness, swelling, itching, or bruising
- muscle aches
Keep hydrated, massage the injection site, and get plenty of sleep after the vaccination to minimize side effects.
This is not a complete list of Fluarix side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to VEARS at 1-800-822-7967.
Tell your doctor about all the medications you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take or have received:
- Other vaccines. If you have received or will receive other vaccines, the vaccines should be given in different sites.
- Immunosuppressive therapies as these may reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine. Immunosuppressive therapies include:
- Irradiation/radiation therapy
- Antimetabolites (eg. Fluorouuracil, Capecitabine, Hydroxyurea)
- Alkylating agents (eg. Cyclophosphamide, Carboplatin, Cisplatin)
- Cytotoxic drugs (eg. Methotrexate, Azathioprine, Cyclophosphamide)
- Corticosteroids ( eg. prednisone greater than 20 mg per day)
This is not a complete list of Fluarix drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Serious side effects have been reported with the administration of Fluarix vaccine including the following:
- Fainting or dizzy spells
- Hives or rash
- Swelling of the face, tongue, or throat
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome
Do not receive Fluarix vaccine if you:
- Have a severe allergic reaction to eggs or inactive ingredient in this vaccine
- Have had a life-threatening reaction to influenza vaccinations
If you are not feeling well, it is usually okay to get flu vaccine when you have a mild illness. Your doctor or pharmacist may recommend to wait to receive the vaccine until you feel better.
Fluarix Food Interactions
Medications and vaccines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Fluarix, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this vaccination.
Before receiving Fluarix, tell your doctor or pharmacist about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor or pharmacist if you:
- Have a severe allergic reaction to eggs
- Have a history of Gullian-Barre Syndrome
- Have a weakened immune system
- Have a history of severe allergic reaction to influenza vaccine
- Have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia or easy bruising
- Have a neurologic disorder or disease affecting the brain (or if this was a reaction to a previous vaccine)
- Have a history of seizures
- Have an allergy to latex
Inform your doctor or pharmacist about all of the medications you take including prescription and non-prescription medication, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Fluarix and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
The FDA categorizes medications based upon safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories- A, B, C, D, and X are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during a pregnancy.
Fluarix is classified as a category B medication. There is no well-done studies that have been completed in pregnant humans who were given Fluarix. In animal studies (in which pregnant animals given the vaccine) the pregnant animal and their babies did not show any medial issues related to the vaccine.
Fluarix and Lactation
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
It is not known whether Fluarix is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Fluarix is administered to a nursing woman.
Fluarix comes in an injectable form to be given directly into a muscle (preferably a region in the upper arm).
Seasonal flu vaccines should be given each year before the start of the flu season. The best time to have it is from September to early November.
Use Fluarix vaccination exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
The dose your doctor recommends may be based upon your age:
Children: Children 6 months through 8 years of age previously unvaccinated or vaccinated for the first time last season with only one dose receive two 0.5 mL doses; each 0.5 mL dose is administered at least 4 weeks apart.
Children 6 months through 8 years of age who have been previously vaccinated with 2 doses of any influenza vaccine receive one or two 0.5 mL doses based on the current year recommendations.
Adults and children 9 years of age and older receive only one 0.5 mL dose.
Fluarix vaccine is administered by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, therefore it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.