1 What is Pulmozyme?

Brand: Pulmozyme

Generic: Dornase Alfa

Pulmozyme is a drug that can be used together with other medicines such as antibiotics, bronchodilators, and steroids which can be used in the management of symptoms of cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis is a condition in which thick mucus is generated in the lungs and breathing channels. The mucus prevents the passage of air in the airways and increases the chance of the getting lungs infections. The infections may eventually cause the mucus to become thicker making it a challenge to breath.

Dornase alfa does not cure cystic fibrosis. However, when used every day, it reduces the problem of difficulty in breathing and lowers the number of serious lung infections which may require treatment using antibiotics. This medicine is only available with the doctor’s prescription.

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2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Pulmozyme, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. However, the following needs to be considered:

  • Inform your health professionals of unusual allergic reactions to this drug or any other medicines.
  • Also, inform the doctor of any form of allergies such as food or dyes, preservatives or animals.
  • In the case of non-prescription products, the ingredients of the package should be dealt with carefully.

According to the pediatric studies performed, no pediatric-specific problems that limit the usefulness of pulmozyme in children below the age of 5 and older has not been established. Similarly, no studies on the relationship of age to effects of pulmozyme have been performed in the geriatric populations. In addition, there are no geriatric-specific problems that have been documented.

Drug interactions with the use of Pulmozyme may occur when used with different medicines. The same can also be the case when used with food. Precaution is necessary in all the cases.

Always inform your medical doctor of the prescriptions and nonprescriptions medicines being used when eating food to avoid certain types of interactions. Also, avoid the use of alcohol and or tobacco. Other medical problems may also influence the use of medicine. The use of other medicines can also affect the use of this medicine. Inform your doctor of any other medical problem such as allergies.

3 Proper Usage

To use Pulmozyme properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. You are required to read the patients instructions that come with the medicine carefully before you use the medicines. 

Seek help from your healthcare professional on the interpretation of the information or on how to use the nebulizer. It is recommended that you should use the drug only as recommended or prescribed by your medical doctor.

Inform your medical doctor when you plan to stop using the medicine since it may cause your lung conditions in becoming worse. Dornase alfa inhalation solution comes in a small plastic bottle called an ampule. Every ampule has a full dose of Dornasa alfa. Never use an ampule that is already open.

It is recommended that Dornasa Alfa must be used with a nebulizer system. A jet nebulizer can also be used since it comes with an air compressor. The air compressor helps in converting the medicine into a fine spray through the mouth.

One is supposed to use the mouthpiece of the nebulizer to breathe in the Pulmozyme. It is recommended not to use a face mask since it will reduce the medicine that will get to your lungs.

Patients that experience the difficulty in breathing may use the PARI BABY nebulizer that comes with a face mask. It is important that one understand how to use the medicine with the nebulizer.

In case the inhalation solution is cloudy or discolored, refrain from using it. Moreover, it can only be used for 10-15 minutes only or until all the medicine in the cut is gone or finished.

It is also important to follow the manufacturer instructions for care and cleaning the nebulizer and compressor. When one needs to receive the full effects of the medicines, one is required to follow the full instructions provided by your doctor.

Ensure that the drug is also used almost the same time every day. Improvement in your condition may be observed in the first week of treatment. The effect may vary in other patients as well, some people may not feel the same effects in weeks or even months.

In case one is using other medicines, one should continue using the medicines as before using dornase alfa unless directed by your healthcare professional. Never put any other inhaled medicines at the same time that you use dornase alfa. However, other drugs can be put in a clean nebulizer before or after using it with Dornasa alfa.

The dosage of this drug varies in a different patient. Follow the doctor’s instructions or directions provided on the label. Never change the dose unless the doctor informs you to do so. The amount of medicine taken also depends on the strength of the medicine consumed.

The number of doses taken every day and the time allowed between doses and length of time for the drugs to be taken will vary between patients depending on the medical problems for which the medicine is being used for management.

For inhalation dosage form as a solution for management of cystic fibrosis in adults and children’s of 5 years or age and above require an ampule of 2.5 milligrams once a day in the nebulizer.

As for children 3 months old to about 4 years of age, their dose to be used need to be determined by your medical doctor. A dose of 2.5 mg for one ampule is required per day. For children younger than 3 months of age, the dose needs to be administered as soon as possible.

In case you miss a dose, one needs to go back to the regular dose schedule. Never double dose. In addition, store or keep the drugs out of reach of children. Expired medicines need to be disposed of appropriately in consultation with your medical professional.

Store the medicines in the refrigerator in the foil pouches. Keep the medicines from freezing. Never leave the medicines out of the refrigerator for long duration than 24 hours. If it stays out of the refrigerator for a longer duration than 24 hours, the medicine needs to be disposed away and new ampule used.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Pulmozyme, there are some precautions you must take. Always be in touch with your doctor to check the progress of you or your child at regular visits.

This ensures that the doctor makes a confirmation that the drug is working correctly and that there are no side effects when using the medicine. If the condition grows worse when using the medicine, inform your healthcare professional right away.

In case any of your medicines seems not to cause any improvement. Also, inform your doctor right away. Never change the doses, stop taking or alter the duration of taking drugs without asking your doctor.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Pulmozyme. When they occur, inform your healthcare professional immediately.

The most common side effects includes:

  • Body aches or pain in the chest as a result of congestion
  • Cough
  • Dryness or soreness of the throat
  • Fever
  • Hoarseness
  • Running nose
  • Tender, swollen glands in the neck which causes trouble in breathing
  • Some people may have trouble swallowing
  • Voice changes

However, despite the occurrence of certain side effects, they may not need treatment since they will go away during treatment when your body adjusts to the treatment.

Your healthcare professional may also know how to best lower the side effects. If they continue to be a problem, or bothersome or have questions about the side effects, always alert your healthcare professional.

The most common side effects may include:

  • The presence of acid or sour stomach
  • Belching
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Rash sneezing
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Upset
  • Pain and stuffy nose

Less common symptoms include:

  • Burning
  • Dry or itching eyes
  • Discharge, or excessive tearing
  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Swelling of the eye, eyelid, inner lining of the eye

However, the side effects vary from one patient to another. Always check with your healthcare professional. Call your doctor for medical advice about the side effects. Side effects can also be reported directly to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.