Dornase Alfa

pronounced as (door' nace)

Brand Name(s): Pulmozyme®

Why is this medicine 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?

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 to take a dose?

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 medicine cause?

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 ( ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

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

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.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( ) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

What other information should I know?

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.

subscribe section background