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Dornase Alfa

pronounced as(door' nace)

Why is this medication prescribed?

Dornase alfa is used to reduce the number of lung infections and to improve lung function in patients with cystic fibrosis. It breaks down the thick secretions in the airways, allowing air to flow better and preventing bacteria from building up.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Dornase alfa comes as a solution to inhale by mouth. It usually is taken one or two times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use dornase alfa exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Dornase alfa is used to treat cystic fibrosis but does not cure it. Continue to use dornase alfa even if you feel well. Do not stop using dornase alfa without talking to your doctor.

Before you use dornase alfa the first time, read the written instructions that come with it. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist to demonstrate the proper technique. Practice using the nebulizer while in his or her presence. Only use a nebulizer that is recommended by your doctor.

What special precautions should I follow?

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Before using dornase alfa,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to dornase alfa or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using dornase alfa, call your doctor.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

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Use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

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Dornase alfa may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away.

  • voice changes

  • sore throat

  • hoarseness

  • eye irritation

  • rash

If you experience either of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately.

  • increased difficulty breathing

  • chest pain

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

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Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it in the refrigerator and protect it from sunlight. Do not expose the drug to room temperature for more than 24 hours. Any ampule that has been open for more than 24 hours should be discarded. Discard ampules if the solution is cloudy or discolored. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of medicine that is outdated or no longer needed.

What other information should I know?

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Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to dornase alfa.

Do not dilute or mix dornase alfa with other drugs in the nebulizer.

Inhalation devices require regular cleaning. Follow the manufacturer's written instructions for the care of the nebulizer.

Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

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  • Pulmozyme®

Other names

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  • DNase
  • recombinant human deoxyribonuclease

Last Reviewed - 09/01/2010

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AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.