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Generic Name: Influenza virus vaccine (injection) [ in-floo-ENZ-a-VYE-rus-VAK-seen ]
Brand Names: Afluria, Afluria Quadrivalent
Drug Class: Viral vaccines

What is afluria?

Afluria is the name for the influenza vaccine (injectable). The Afluria (influenza virus vaccine) is used to stop the spread of infection through the flu virus. The vaccine is revised every year and contains particular strains of the inactivated (killed) influenza virus, which are advised by public health authorities for the year.

The influenza virus (commonly called "the flu") is a serious infection caused by the virus. Influenza virus can be transmitted from one person to the next via tiny droplets of saliva, which are released into the air when an affected person coughs or sniffs. It can be transmitted by contact with objects that the person infected has touched, like doorstops or other objects. Afluria vaccination (flu shot) is a "killed virus" vaccine. Afluria involves exposing the patient to a tiny amount of the virus. This assists your body in developing immunity to the illness. The Afluria vaccine is not able to cure an active disease that has already manifested within the body. Afluria is recommended for children and adults who are at least six months old.

Being infected by influenza is far more harmful to your health than having the flu vaccine. Influenza is responsible for thousands of deaths every year as well as several hundred thousand hospitalizations. Like all medications, Afluria can cause side effects, but the chance of serious adverse side effects is extremely low.

Like all vaccines, Afluria may not provide protection against disease for all people. Afluria is not able to prevent illnesses caused by avian influenza ("bird influenza").


Commonly Injectable Afluria (flu shot) is reagrded as  a "killed virus" vaccine. Influenza virus is available in the form of a nasal spray that is also a "live virus" vaccine. This information guide focuses on the injectable version of this vaccine.

You may still get the vaccine even if you've got a mild cold. If you have a more serious illness, like a fever or another type of illness, wait until you improve before you can receive Afluria.

Note down any and all adverse effects you experience after receiving Afluria. If you are ever required to get Afluria later on, you'll have to inform your physician whether the previous shot triggered any negative side effects.

Like all vaccines, Afluria may not provide protection against disease for everyone. Afluria is not able to prevent illnesses caused by avian influenza ("bird virus").

The injectable influenza virus (killed virus) vaccine is not likely to make you sick with the flu virus it is a part of. However, you might experience symptoms resembling flu symptoms at any time during flu season. These symptoms could be caused by different varieties of the influenza virus.

Infection with influenza can be significantly more hazardous to your health than getting Afluria. Like all medications, Afluria can cause side effects, but the chance of serious side effects is very low.

Before You Take This Drug

It is possible that you will not be able to get Afluria. If you're allergic to eggs or if you suffer from

  • An allergy history that has been severe, or a reaction to a vaccine for the flu
  • The presence of Guillain-Barre syndrome (within 6 weeks of having received the flu vaccine).
  • If you have an allergy to eggs.

To ensure that you are able to successfully receive Afluria, inform your physician if you have any of the following ailments:

  • A blood clotting condition such as hemophilia; bleeding that is easy.
  • An illness or neurologic disorder that affects the brain (or in the case of a reaction to a prior vaccination).
  • A seizure history.
  • An immune system that is weak, resulting from illness or bone marrow transplants, or through the use of certain medications or treatments for cancer.
  • If you're allergic to latex rubber.

You are still able to get the Afluria vaccine if you're suffering from a mild cold. In the event of an acute illness accompanied by fever or any other kind of disease, wait until you recover before receiving Afluria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that pregnant women receive a flu vaccine at any stage of pregnancy to safeguard both their babies and themselves from the flu.

It isn't known if the influenza virus is present in breast milk or if it can harm the nursing infant. Don't take Afluria without consulting your physician when you breastfeed babies. Afluria should never be administered to children less than 6 months old.

Details on Dosage

Afluria can be administered as the result of an injection (shot) into the muscle. The injection will be administered in a physician's office or another clinic.

It is recommended to receive an annual flu vaccination. Your immunity is likely to decline over the next 12 months following the date you received the affluria. Children who receive Afluria might require another shot one month after receiving their first vaccination.

Afluria is typically administered in November or October. Certain individuals may have to receive their vaccinations sooner or later. Follow the instructions of your doctor.

The doctor may suggest treating pain and fever with an aspirin-free pain relief medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) as well as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and many more) once the shot has been administered and for the following 24 hours. Follow the directions on the label or the instructions of your doctor on the dosage of this medication to give your child.

It is particularly important to avoid the onset of fever in children with seizures, such as epilepsy.

What Happens If I Miss a Dose?

Since flu shots are generally only offered once each year, you'll likely not be following an annual dosing schedule. Contact your physician if you missed your annual flu shot in November or October. If your child has missed an additional dose of Afluria, Contact your doctor for instructions.

What happens If I Overdose?

A high dose of afluria is highly unlikely to occur.

What Should be Avoided?

Follow the instructions of your physician regarding any limitations on foods, drinks, or activities.

Side Effects of Afluria

The flu vaccine won't cause you to fall ill with the influenza virus it is a part of. However, you might experience symptoms similar to flu symptoms at any time during flu season. These symptoms could be caused by different types of influenza viruses.

It is not recommended to get a booster shot in the event of a serious allergic reaction following the first dose. Be aware of any and all adverse reactions that you may experience following the administration of Afluria. If you need to undergo Afluria at some point in the near future, you'll have to inform your physician whether the prior shot resulted in any adverse negative effects. Seek medical attention immediately when you notice any signs warning of an allergic reaction, such as symptoms of hives, breathing difficulties, or swelling of your lips, face, or tongue. Contact your doctor immediately when you suffer from severe side effects like:

  • A feeling of lightheadedness, as if you're passing out.
  • An unusual or severe weakness in your legs or arms (which may occur between 2 and 4 weeks after the date you received this vaccine).
  • High fever.
  • Seizure (convulsions);.
  • Unusual bleeding.

 Adverse Effects could include:

  • Chills, low fever.
  • Small amount of crying or a slight fussiness.
  • Redness, bruises, swelling, pain, or a lump in the area where the vaccine was injected.
  • Fatigue, or headaches tired feeling, or headache.
  • Muscle, joint, or muscle.

This isn't a complete list of side effects, and other side effects may occur. Consult your physician for advice regarding medical adverse effects. You may report adverse reactions directly to Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967. US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.

Interaction with other drugs

Before you receive Afluria, inform your physician that you are taking:

  • Phenytoin;
  • Theophylline
  • A blood thinner, such as warfarin, Coumadin, or Jantoven.

Tell your doctor if you've recently received any treatment or medication that could weaken your immune system, such as:

  • An nasal, oral, inhaled, or injectable steroid medicine;
  • Medicines to treat psoriasis, the rheumatoid joint, or any other autoimmune diseases; medications to treat autoimmune disorders, like azathioprine (Imuran), etanercept (Enbrel), leflunomide (Arava), and others.
  • Drugs to treat or prevent rejection of organ transplants, such as basiliximab (Simulect) and cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral, Gengraf), muromonab-CD3 (Orthoclone), mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept), sirolimus (Rapamune), as well as tacrolimus (Prograf).

If you're taking one of these drugs or medications, you may not be able to receive the vaccine or require waiting until other treatments are completed.

This list isn't exhaustive, and other drugs could be incompatible with Afluria. Discuss with your doctor the medications you are taking. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter or vitamin products, as well as herbal products. Don't start an entirely new drug without consulting your physician.



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