Frequently Asked Questions
Patients’ Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is CF?
A: Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
Q: How do you get CF?
A: CF is genetic, and that means people with CF are born with it. Even if parents do not have CF, their child might have it. That’s because people can carry the CF gene and pass it on, but do not necessarily have the disease themselves. When both parents carry the gene, their child has a 25% chance of having CF.
Q: Is there a cure for CF?
A: There is currently no cure for CF.
Q: What does Pulmozyme® Inhalation Solution do?
A: Pulmozyme, along with standard therapies, may improve lung function in patients with CF. In patients with a forced vital capacity (FVC) ≥40% of predicted, taking Pulmozyme every day has also been shown to reduce the risk of respiratory tract infections that require injectable antibiotics. Safety and efficacy of daily administration of Pulmozyme have not been studied in clinical trials for longer than 12 months.
Q: I have CF, but I feel fine. Why should I consider prescription treatment?
A: CF is a chronic, progressive disease that is present even when symptoms are not.
Q: How does Pulmozyme work?
A: Pulmozyme acts like “scissors” in the mucus, cutting up the extracellular DNA strands that make CF mucus thick and sticky.
Q: What are the possible side effects of Pulmozyme?
A: Some common side effects associated with Pulmozyme include change in or loss of voice, discomfort in the throat, chest pain, red watery eyes, rash, dizziness, fever, or runny nose. If you experience any of these side effects, you should call your doctor or nurse. Side effects with Pulmozyme are usually mild and don’t last.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1.800.FDA.1088. For important risk and use information, please see the patient prescribing information.
Q: Does everyone who has CF need to take Pulmozyme?
A: You should talk to your doctor to find out if Pulmozyme is right for you.
Q: Do I need to take Pulmozyme every day?
A: Taking Pulmozyme as prescribed by your doctor with standard therapies has been shown to help improve lung function and reduce the risk of respiratory tract infection in studies.
Q: Will I feel better right after I take Pulmozyme?
A: You may not feel better immediately. However, in clinical trials, Pulmozyme was shown to improve lung function in patients in as little as 8 days from when they started their prescribed treatment.
Q: Will Pulmozyme affect my other medicines?
A: Clinical trials have indicated that Pulmozyme can be effectively and safely used in conjunction with standard cystic fibrosis therapies including oral, inhaled and/or parenteral antibiotics, bronchodilators, enzyme supplements, vitamins, oral or inhaled corticosteroids, and analgesics. No formal drug interaction studies have been performed.
Pulmozyme should not be diluted or mixed with other drugs in the nebulizer. Mixing of Pulmozyme with other drugs could lead to adverse physicochemical and/or functional changes in Pulmozyme or the admixed compound. Patients should be advised to squeeze each ampule prior to use in order to check for leaks.
Q: Are there people that should not take Pulmozyme?
A: Pulmozyme is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to dornase alfa, Chinese Hamster Ovary cell products, or any component of the product.
Q: In what order should I take Pulmozyme and my other inhaled medicines?
A: You should ask you doctor about the right order to take your medications.
Q: Can I use part of the Pulmozyme ampule and save some for later?
A: No. Pulmozyme comes in sterile, single-use ampules. Pulmozyme contains no preservatives, so once it’s opened the entire contents of the ampule must be used or discarded.
Q: Which nebulizer/compressor should I use with Pulmozyme?
A: 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®
Click here to get a printable fact sheet about nebulizers. Remember to talk to your doctor about which might be right for you.
Q: Do I need to store Pulmozyme in a special way?
A: Pulmozyme should be stored under refrigeration (2-8°C/36-46°F). Ampules should be protected from strong light. Do not use beyond the expiration date stamped on the ampule. Unused ampules should be stored in their protective foil pouch under refrigeration.
Q: What if I run out? How do I get more Pulmozyme?
A: If you run out of Pulmozyme, please call your physician.
Q: How do I know if the ampule has expired?
A: Check the ampule for the stamped expiration date.
Q: What if my insurance doesn’t cover Pulmozyme, or I don’t have insurance?
A: Pulmozyme AccessSolutions—connecting you to the medicine you need. If you are worried about paying for one of our medicines, we can help.
Regardless of your insurance status, we can help:
Find out if your health plan pays for your medicine
Guide you through the reimbursement process
Connect you with programs to help you with out-of-pocket costs
Give you and your doctor's office personal help from a member of our support team
If you have no insurance, we can help you get your medicine free of charge.
To learn more about how we may be able to help you or a loved one, call (800) 690-3023 and speak live with one of our Specialists or visit PulmozymeAccessSolutions.com.