- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Brand Names: FluMist, FluMist Quadrivalent
What is FluMist influenza nasal vaccine, and what is it used for?
FluMist is a nasal vaccine that protects against infection with the influenza virus or the "flu." FluMist contains live influenza virus that has been weakened so that it causes minimal or no symptoms. When FluMist is inhaled, the body responds to the weakened viruses in FluMist by developing antibodies that fight influenza viruses. These antibodies protect against later infections by the naturally-occurring influenza virus.
FluMist is effective only against the strains of influenza virus that are included in it, and the strains of virus change from year to year. FluMist has no effect on the flu once infection has begun. FluMist should be given shortly before the flu season begins to allow time for antibodies to be produced and for protection throughout the entire flu season.
FluMist and FluMist Quadrivalent are similar except for the addition of one additional virus strain to Flumist Quadrivalent. FluMist is a trivalent vaccine because it has three flu virus strains (two type A viruses and one B type) and FluMist Quadrivalent has four virus strains (two A type and two B types).
The FDA approved FluMist in June 2003 and FluMist Quadrivalent in February 2012.
- Do not administer FluMist to children 5 to 17 years of age who are also receiving aspirin therapy because of the risk of Reye's syndrome, a serious disease of the liver.
- FluMist should not be administered to individuals with asthma because it may increase wheezing.
- FluMist should not be given to pregnant women.
- The safety of FluMist in breastfeeding women has not been evaluated.
What are the side effects of FluMist?
The most common side effects of FluMist are:
- runny nose,
- nasal congestion,
- sore throat,
- muscle aches,
- tiredness or weakness,
- chills, and
Other important side effects includes:
Hypersensitivity reactions also have been reported.
What is the dosage for FluMist?
- Children 2 to 8 years of age who have not previously received FluMist should be given 2 doses of 0.2 ml at least one month apart.
- Children 2 to 8 years of age, who previously received FluMist and adults 9 to 49 years of age, should be given 1 dose (0.2 ml) of FluMist each season.
- FluMist is administered by inhaling through the nose while standing or sitting in an upright position. FluMist is not administered by injection.
- Since FluMist contains viruses that are likely to cause the flu in the upcoming season, FluMist developed for previous seasons will not be effective and should not be used.
Which drugs interact with FluMist?
- Children 5 to 17 years of age who are receiving aspirin therapy should not be given FluMist because of the association between aspirin, influenza infection, and Reye's syndrome, a serious disease of the liver.
- Use of FluMist together with antiviral drugs that are active against the influenza virus has not been evaluated. Since there is a potential for antiviral drugs to reduce the effectiveness of FluMist (by preventing infection with the weakened viruses in FluMist), antiviral drugs should not be administered until 2 weeks after FluMist therapy, and FluMist should not be administered until 48 hours after antiviral therapy is discontinued.
- Administering FluMist with inactivated virus vaccines was not evaluated in FluMist clinical trials, and combining FluMist with other intranasal products has not been evaluated. FluMist did not interfere with, and was not affected by measles, mumps, rubella, or varicella live vaccines.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
What else should I know about influenza nasal vaccine?
Do I need a prescription for influenza nasal vaccine?
What preparations of influenza nasal vaccine are available?
- Intranasal Spray: prefilled single use intranasal spray, 0.2 ml
How should I keep influenza nasal vaccine stored?
- FluMist should be stored refrigerated between 2 C to 8 C (35 F to 46 F).
Influenza vaccine live, intranasal (generic names); FluMist, FluMist Quadrivalent (brand names) is a nasal vaccine prescribed to protect against infection with the influenza virus which causes "flu." FluMist contains live influenza virus that has been weakened, to cause minimal to no flu symptoms. Influenza strains change from year to year, so a new influenza vaccine must be created annually to protect against the new strain of influenza viruses. FluMist is administered shortly before the flu season begins. FluMist contains three flu virus strains (two type A viruses and one type B virus). FluMist quadrivalent has four virus strains (two type A viruses and two type B viruses). FluMist and FluMist Quadrivalent do not prevent 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) viral infection. FluMist is prescribed to prevent influenza viral infections in people between the ages of 2 to 49 years. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed with your doctor prior to taking FluMist or FluMist Quadrivalent.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Cold, Flu, and Cough: 13 Foods to Eat When Fighting the Flu
The best foods to eat when you have the flu soothe symptoms and help you feel better faster. Good foods to eat with the flu...
Cold, Fever and Flu Symptoms in Children: Medications and Home Remedies
How long does a cold last? How long is a cold contagious? Colds and fevers are some of the most common ailments in children....
Cold and Flu: Finding Fast Cough Relief
Remedies for coughing to relieve symptoms, thin mucus, and clear phlegm include cough syrup and honey in hot water. Use...
How to Get Rid of a Cold: Natural Remedies
What home remedies work to get rid of a cold fast? Many claim cold symptoms and flu symptoms can be relieved with Echinacea,...
Cold & Flu Quiz: Influenza vs. Common Cold
Aches? Pain? Fever? This Cold & Flu Quiz tests your knowledge on the difference between coming down with the common cold and...
Picture of Influenza Virus
The flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract which are divided into three types, designated A, B, and C. See a...
Why Do I Have the Chills? Reasons Other Than Fever
Chills and fever often come as a combo, but sometimes chills happen with a normal temperature. Find out what could be behind...
Home Remedies for Sick Children
Home remedies for sick babies, toddlers, and kids can help with things like colds, flu, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, fever,...
A Cold or The Flu? How to Tell the Difference
Discover the difference between cold vs. flu symptoms. Learn the difference between cold and flu symptoms. Read about cold and...
Cold, Flu, & Cough: How to Clean After Illness
This slideshow gives you a room-by-room look at how and what to disinfect after someone in your family has been sick.
Cold, Flu, and Cough: Things That Suppress Your Immune System
A strong immune system is your best protection against infections and illnesses. Find out what can weaken that defense.
Cold, Flu, and Cough: How to Avoid Infectious Diseases
The right habits will lower your chances of catching an infectious disease. Learn what you can do to help yourself stay healthy.
Germs: Everyday Items with the Most Bacteria
Explore the germiest places you may encounter daily. Bacteria is everywhere. Learn tips to avoid germs and bacteria in public...
Cold and Flu: The Truth About Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizers are a convenient way to kill germs. But do they really work? Here's what we found.
Flu Shots: 10 Facts About Flu Shots
What are the side effects of a flu shot? Who should get vaccinated? Learn the benefits and risks of vaccination for seasonal...
Cold and Flu: What Doctors Do to Boost Their Immune Systems
How can you make your immune system stronger? Why not try what the pros try?
Cold, Flu, & Cough: Symptoms of Immune System Problems
Your immune system is your main line of defense against infection and illness. Learn the warning signs that yours isn’t working...
Related Disease Conditions
Norovirus infection causes stomach flu, or gastroenteritis. It's a very contagious illness with symptoms that include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches. Norovirus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics, so treatment focuses on maintaining proper hydration.
Influenza (flu) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. The flu may be prevented with an annual influenza vaccination.
Diabetes and Safe Medications for Colds & Flu
If you have diabetes and catch a cold or the flu, can be more difficult to recover from infections and their complications, for example, pneumonia. Home remedies and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs used for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of colds and the flu may affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.Some medications are OK to take if you have diabetes get a cold or the flu include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin) to control symptoms of fever and pain. Most cough syrups are safe to take; however, check with your pediatrician to see what medications are safe to give your child if he or she has type 1 or 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes and are sick with a cold or flu, you need to check your blood sugar levels more frequently. Continue taking your regular medications. Eat a diabetic low-glycemic index diet rich in antioxidants. To prevent colds and the flu drink at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day. To replenish fluids, drink sports drinks like Gatorade and Pedialyte to replenish electrolytes. Avoid people who are sick, sneezing, coughing, or have other symptoms of a cold or flu.
How Long Is a Cold or Flu Contagious?
Viruses cause the common cold and the flu. Early symptoms and signs for a cold and the flu are similar, however, flu symptoms are typically more severe than cold symptoms. Cold and flu viruses are transmitted typically via coughing or sneezing.
Bird Flu (Avian Influenza, Avian Flu)
Bird flu (avian flu, avian influenza) infection in humans may result from contact with infected poultry. There is a vaccine to prevent human infection with the H5N1 strain of the avian flu virus.
When Should You See a Doctor for Upper Respiratory Infection?
What is an upper respiratory infection? Learn the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection and what to do about it.
COVID-19 vs. Flu vs. Cold
When you're feeling sick, it can be difficult to distinguish the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection from the symptoms of the common cold or the flu (influenza). While fever is common with the flu and COVID-19, sneezing is typically only associated with colds. Though sore throats are typical with colds, they are uncommon with COVID-19 infections and the flu.
Cold vs. Flu
Though the common cold and flu share many signs and symptoms, they are caused by different viruses. Signs and symptoms include sneezing, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, and cough. Treatment options for the cold and flu are similar and focus on reducing symptoms. Doctors may prescribe antivirals/neuraminidase inhibitors for the flu.
Swine Flu (Swine Influenza A [H1N1 and H3N2])
Novel H1N1 influenza A virus infection (swine flu) is an infection that generally is transferred from an infected pig to a human, however there have been reported cases where infection has occured with no contact with infected pigs. Symptoms of swine flu are "flu-like" and include fever, cough, and sore throat. Treatment is generally with the antibiotics oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza).
Cold, Flu, Allergy Treatments
Before treating a cold, the flu, or allergies with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, it's important to know what's causing the symptoms, which symptoms one wishes to relieve, and the active ingredients in the OTC product. Taking products that only contain the medications needed for relieving your symptoms prevents ingestion of unnecessary medications and reduces the chances of side effects.
How Long Does the Flu Last in Seniors?
What is the flu? Learn the signs of the flu in seniors and when you need to call a doctor.
How Do You Cure the Flu Quickly?
Flu or influenza is a common viral disease affecting the respiratory system. This infectious disease is caused by the influenza virus. Most cases of flu are self-limiting and can be easily managed at home.
What Are Interesting Facts About the Flu?
See 9 interesting facts about the flu including the origin, prevalence, contagiousness, vaccines, peak months, duration, complications, home remedies, and more.
How Long Do Flu Symptoms Last in Toddlers?
What is the flu, and how long do symptoms last in kids? Learn the signs of the flu and find out what medicines may help.
How Do You Treat a Baby With the Flu?
The home remedy for flu will depend on the temperature of the baby and on what other signs and symptoms are present with the flu. Flu or influenza is an infectious disease caused by the influenza virus. It affects the respiratory tract (which involves the throat, nose, and lungs) causing symptoms, such as cough, running nose, fever, and difficulty in breathing.
What Are The Side Effects of the H1N1 Flu Vaccine?
H1N1, also known as the swine flu, most recently caused an outbreak in 2009. The vaccine for it used to be a separate shot, but is now included in your yearly flu shot. The side effects are similar to the flu shot, and are usually minor.
How Long Are You Contagious With the Flu?
The flu is contagious 1-2 days before symptoms start and up to 5-7 days after symptoms have developed. Young children and people who have weak immune systems may be contagious for longer.
What Are the First Warning Signs of the Flu?
Some of the first warning signs of the flu include fever, chills, tiredness, headache, muscle aches, and a general feeling of being unwell.
Is the Coronavirus More Contagious Than the Flu?
COVID-19 or coronavirus disease is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered strain of coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2). Cases that eventually led to a global pandemic were first discovered in the city of Wuhan, China, during early December 2019.
What Are Some of the Common Symptoms of COVID-19 and Flu?
Flu and COVID-19 share common symptoms because they are both respiratory tract infections. Learn the 12 common symptoms below.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Cold & Flu FAQs
- Flu: Waiting for Flu Shots, a Real Reality Show
- Flu Shot Fiasco, Critical Incident Report
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- What Is Tamiflu?
- Flu Shot Side Effects
- Will a Flu Shot Prevent Pleurisy?
- Flu Shots - Next Big Influenza Outbreak
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- Influenza A (H3N2)v: What Goes Around Comes Around
- Flu Free: How to Fend Off the Flu
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA. Vaccines, Blood & Biologics. "FluMist Quadrivalent." 08/20/2013.
Vaccines, Blood & Biologics. February 29, 2012 Approval Letter - FluMist & Quadrivalent.