RELENZA (Page 3 of 6)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

In addition to adverse events reported from clinical trials, the following events have been identified during postmarketing use of zanamivir (RELENZA). Because they are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, estimates of frequency cannot be made. These events have been chosen for inclusion due to a combination of their seriousness, frequency of reporting, or potential causal connection to zanamivir (RELENZA).

Allergic Reactions: Allergic or allergic-like reaction, including oropharyngeal edema [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Psychiatric: Delirium, including symptoms such as altered level of consciousness, confusion, abnormal behavior, delusions, hallucinations, agitation, anxiety, nightmares[see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Cardiac: Arrhythmias, syncope.

Neurologic: Seizures.

Respiratory: Bronchospasm, dyspnea [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Skin: Facial edema; rash, including serious cutaneous reactions (e.g., erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis); urticaria [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].


Zanamivir is not a substrate nor does it affect cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoenzymes (CYP1A1/2, 2A6, 2C9, 2C18, 2D6, 2E1, and 3A4) in human liver microsomes. No clinically significant pharmacokinetic drug interactions are predicted based on data from in vitro studies.

The concurrent use of RELENZA with live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) intranasal has not been evaluated. However, because of potential interference between these products, LAIV should not be administered within 2 weeks before or 48 hours after administration of RELENZA, unless medically indicated. The concern about possible interference arises from the potential for antiviral drugs to inhibit replication of live vaccine virus.

Trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine can be administered at any time relative to use of RELENZA [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.4)].


8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of zanamivir in pregnant women. Zanamivir should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Embryo/fetal development studies were conducted in rats (dosed from days 6 to 15 of pregnancy) and rabbits (dosed from days 7 to 19 of pregnancy) using the same IV doses (1, 9, and 90 mg/kg/day). Pre- and post-natal developmental studies were performed in rats (dosed from day 16 of pregnancy until litter day 21 to 23). No malformations, maternal toxicity, or embryotoxicity were observed in pregnant rats or rabbits and their fetuses. Because of insufficient blood sampling timepoints in rat and rabbit reproductive toxicity studies, AUC values were not available. In a subchronic study in rats at the 90 mg/kg/day IV dose, the AUC values were greater than 300 times the human exposure at the proposed clinical dose.

An additional embryo/fetal study, in a different strain of rat, was conducted using subcutaneous administration of zanamivir, 3 times daily, at doses of 1, 9, or 80 mg/kg during days 7 to 17 of pregnancy. There was an increase in the incidence rates of a variety of minor skeleton alterations and variants in the exposed offspring in this study. Based on AUC measurements, the 80 mg/kg dose produced an exposure greater than 1,000 times the human exposure at the proposed clinical dose. However, in most instances, the individual incidence rate of each skeletal alteration or variant remained within the background rates of the historical occurrence in the strain studied.

Zanamivir has been shown to cross the placenta in rats and rabbits. In these animals, fetal blood concentrations of zanamivir were significantly lower than zanamivir concentrations in the maternal blood.

8.3 Nursing Mothers

Studies in rats have demonstrated that zanamivir is excreted in milk. However, nursing mothers should be instructed that it is not known whether zanamivir is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when RELENZA is administered to a nursing mother.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Treatment of Influenza: Safety and effectiveness of RELENZA for treatment of influenza have not been assessed in pediatric patients less than 7 years of age, but were studied in a Phase III treatment study in pediatric patients, where 471 children 5 to 12 years of age received zanamivir or placebo [see Clinical Studies 14.1)]. Adolescents were included in the 3 principal Phase III adult treatment studies. In these studies, 67 patients were 12 to 16 years of age. No definite differences in safety and efficacy were observed between these adolescent patients and young adults.

In a Phase I study of 16 children ages 6 to 12 years with signs and symptoms of respiratory disease, 4 did not produce a measurable peak inspiratory flow rate (PIFR) through the DISKHALER (3 with no adequate inhalation on request, 1 with missing data), 9 had measurable PIFR on each of 2 inhalations, and 3 achieved measurable PIFR on only 1 of 2 inhalations. Neither of two 6-year-olds and one of two 7-year-olds produced measurable PIFR. Overall, 8 of the 16 children (including all those under 8 years old) either did not produce measurable inspiratory flow through the DISKHALER or produced peak inspiratory flow rates below the 60 L/min considered optimal for the device under standardized in vitro testing; lack of measurable flow rate was related to low or undetectable serum concentrations [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3), Clinical Studies (14.1)]. Prescribers should carefully evaluate the ability of young children to use the delivery system if prescription of RELENZA is considered.

Prophylaxis of Influenza: The safety and effectiveness of RELENZA for prophylaxis of influenza have been studied in 4 Phase III studies where 273 children 5 to 11 years of age and 239 adolescents 12 to 16 years of age received RELENZA. No differences in safety and effectiveness were observed between pediatric and adult subjects [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

8.5 Geriatric Use

Of the total number of patients in 6 clinical studies of RELENZA for treatment of influenza, 59 patients were 65 years of age and older, while 24 patients were 75 years of age and older. Of the total number of patients in 4 clinical studies of RELENZA for prophylaxis of influenza in households and community settings, 954 patients were 65 years of age and older, while 347 patients were 75 years of age and older. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these patients and younger patients, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out. Elderly patients may need assistance with use of the device.

In 2 additional studies of RELENZA for prophylaxis of influenza in the nursing home setting, efficacy was not demonstrated [see Indications and Usage (1.3)].


There have been no reports of overdosage from administration of RELENZA.


The active component of RELENZA is zanamivir. The chemical name of zanamivir is 5-(acetylamino)-4-[(aminoiminomethyl)-amino]-2,6-anhydro-3,4,5-trideoxy-D-glycero-D-galacto-non-2-enonic acid. It has a molecular formula of C12 H20 N4 O7 and a molecular weight of 332.3. It has the following structural formula:

zanamivir structural formula

Zanamivir is a white to off-white powder for oral inhalation with a solubility of approximately 18 mg/mL in water at 20°C.

RELENZA is for administration to the respiratory tract by oral inhalation only. Each RELENZA ROTADISK contains 4 regularly spaced double-foil blisters with each blister containing a powder mixture of 5 mg of zanamivir and 20 mg of lactose (which contains milk proteins). The contents of each blister are inhaled using a specially designed breath-activated plastic device for inhaling powder called the DISKHALER. After a RELENZA ROTADISK is loaded into the DISKHALER, a blister that contains medication is pierced and the zanamivir is dispersed into the air stream created when the patient inhales through the mouthpiece. The amount of drug delivered to the respiratory tract will depend on patient factors such as inspiratory flow. Under standardized in vitro testing, RELENZA ROTADISK delivers 4 mg of zanamivir from the DISKHALER device when tested at a pressure drop of 3 kPa (corresponding to a flow rate of about 62 to 65 L/min) for 3 seconds.

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