Pulmozyme® Inhalation Solution

Pulmozyme® is an inhaled medication used to treat the symptoms of cystic fibrosis (CF). It helps thin the mucus in the lungs so people can cough it out more easily. It is also called recombinant human DNase or dornase alfa.

Pulmozyme was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 and is the first drug developed specifically for CF.


What is Pulmozyme® Inhalation Solution?

Pulmozyme is a medicine that people with CF inhale to help thin the mucus in the lung so it is easier to cough out. It is also called recombinant human DNase or dornase alfa.

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What does Pulmozyme do? How does it work? 

Pulmozyme, along with other CF therapies, may improve lung function in people with CF. Taking Pulmozyme every day has also been shown to reduce the risk of lung (respiratory) infections.

Pulmozyme acts like “scissors” in the mucus. It cuts up the DNA strands outside the cell that can make CF mucus thick and sticky. This DNA is from the white blood cells that work to fight lung infections. Even if a person with CF has not had a lung infection, the white blood cell DNA is still in the mucus.

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Why should I or my child take Pulmozyme?

Your CF health care team can best answer this question. CF causes damage to the lungs even when there are no symptoms. Pulmozyme helps to thin the thick CF mucus so it is easier to cough out of the body. Getting this mucus out of the lungs helps slow the damage.

You can learn more about Pulmozyme by going to www.pulmozyme.com.

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What are the possible side effects of Pulmozyme?

Some common side effects include change in or loss of voice, discomfort in the throat, chest pain, red watery eyes, rash, dizziness, fever or runny nose. If you have any of these side effects, you should call your CF doctor or nurse. Side effects with Pulmozyme are usually mild and don’t last.

You can learn more about Pulmozyme by going to www.pulmozyme.com.

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Who should take Pulmozyme? 

You should talk to your doctor to find out if Pulmozyme is right for you or your child. The CF Foundation’s guideline “Chronic Medications for Lung Health Maintenance” recommends the use of Pulmozyme in people with CF age 6 years and older to improve lung function and reduce exacerbations, or lung infections.

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How often should Pulmozyme be taken? 

When your doctor gave you the prescription for Pulmozyme, it included how often Pulmozyme should be taken. If you have questions, you should talk with your CF health care team. 

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Will I feel better right after I take Pulmozyme? 

You may not feel better right away. However, in clinical trials, Pulmozyme was shown to improve lung function in people with CF in as little as 8 days from when they started taking it.

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How will Pulmozyme affect my other medicines? 

Clinical trials have shown that Pulmozyme can be used while taking other CF therapies.

Pulmozyme should not be diluted or mixed with other drugs in the nebulizer. Mixing of Pulmozyme with other drugs could lead to problems.
 
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In what order should I take Pulmozyme and my other inhaled medicines? 

You should ask your CF doctor or respiratory therapist about the right order to take your medications. The CF Foundation care guidelines recommend that inhaled medicines and airway clearance be done in the following order:

1. Bronchodilator
2. Mucus thinning medicines, like Pulmozyme
3. Airway clearance
4. Inhaled antibiotics

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Can I use part of the Pulmozyme and save some for later? 

No. Pulmozyme comes in sterile, single-use ampules or containers. Pulmozyme contains no preservatives, so once it’s opened the entire contents must be used or thrown away.

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Which nebulizer/compressor should I use with Pulmozyme?

The following nebulizer/compressors have been FDA-approved for use with Pulmozyme:

  • PARI LC® Jet+ with PARI PRONEB®
  • PARI BABYTM with PARI PRONEB®
  • Durable Sidestream with MOBILAIRE
  • Hudson T Up-Draft II with Pulmo-Aide
  • Marquest Acorn II® with Pulmo-Aide
  • Durable Sidestream with Porta-Neb®

Talk with your CF doctor, nurse or respiratory therapist about which nebulizer and compressor you should use.

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Do I need to store Pulmozyme in a special way? 

Pulmozyme should be stored in the refrigerator (36-46°F/2-8°C) and protected from strong light, including the light in the refrigerator. As with any medicine, do not use Pulmozyme beyond the expiration date stamped on the package.

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If I run out of Pulmozyme, how do I get more?
 

If you run out, please call your CF center or pharmacy where you got your Pulmozyme.

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What if my insurance doesn’t cover Pulmozyme, or I don’t have insurance? 

If you have concerns about paying for Pulmozyme, you may be eligible for assistance through Pulmozyme AccessSolutions, regardless of your insurance status. To learn more, call 1-800-690-3023 or visit www.PulmozymeAccessSolutions.com.

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Learn More About Chronic Medications for CF Lung Health

You can learn more about chronic medications for CF lung health, including Pulmozyme, on the CF Foundation’s website:

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Updated 6/28/13