HF 4932

Nebulized Dornase Alfa or Pulmozyme

Dornase is an enzyme which breaks down protein bonds that cause your respiratory mucus to be thick. Using Dornase daily makes it easier for you to cough up mucus. Dornase is clear and comes in a sterile plastic vial. Keep it in the refrigerator and protect it from light in its original package. If the medicine looks cloudy or discolored, throw it away. 


Each treatment is 2.5 mg one to two times a day by nebulization. Each vial contains 2.5 mg. One vial is used for each treatment. Do not mix Dornase with any other drug or liquid. 

Side Effects

Side effects to report to your doctor right away:

  • Trouble breathing

  • Skin rash

Side effects that most often do not need medical attention:

  • Voice changes

  • Sore throat

  • Laryngitis

  • Chest pain

  • Redness of the eyes

These side effects go away within a few weeks after the first treatment. If they continue check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

Nebulizer Treatment

Dornase comes as a liquid and needs to be made into a mist so it can go deep into your lungs. Certain equipment must be used to deliver Dornase properly. The air compressors that can be used to do this are called, Pulmo-Aide®, Medimist®, Inspiration®, or Pari-Proneb®.

The nebulizers that can be used are called Marquest Acorn II® disposable, Hudson T Updraft II® disposable, Sidestream® disposable, Sidestream® reusable or PariLC Jet®.

Using Dornase

First wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use anti-bacterial hand gel, to reduce the risk of infection.

A Dornase nebulizer must never be used for any other medicine. If not cleaned properly, Dornase drug left in the nebulizer can form a thick substance and clog up the nebulizer and reduce the amount of medicine sent to the lungs.

  1. Place the contents of one vial of Dornase in the nebulizer cup and throw the empty vial away.

  2. Take a slow deep breath and hold for 5 seconds every few breaths. Holding your breath helps the Dornase deposit in your lungs.

  3. The treatment will last between 6-12 minutes depending on the type of nebulizer and air compressor you use.

Clean and Disinfect the Nebulizer

Dornase can cause bacterial contamination to the lungs if not cleaned and disinfected daily. To clean and disinfect by hand, you can use either vinegar and water method or rubbing alcohol method. If you have Cystic Fibrosis (CF) do not use the vinegar and water method. To make sterile water boil for 5 minutes. Do not use water from the faucet, bottled or distilled. Use this water only once.

Vinegar and Water Method

Take the nebulizer apart. Wash the pieces in warm soapy water and rinse with hot tap water. Place the pieces in a bowl and add enough vinegar and water solution to completely cover the equipment. Make the mixture of 1 cup vinegar to 2 cups water. Soak the nebulizer for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Rinse all parts of the nebulizer with sterile water. Place the pieces on a paper towel to dry.

Rubbing Alcohol Method

Take the nebulizer apart. Wash the pieces in warm soapy water and rinse with hot tap water. Place pieces in a bowl and cover with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol). Soak for 5 minutes. Rinse the nebulizer pieces with sterile water. Place the nebulizer pieces on a paper towel to dry.

Heat Method

Use the heat methods listed below only for sturdy, hard plastic nebulizer cups. Heat cleaning may melt lighter, clear plastic nebulizers.

How do I clean and disinfect in the dishwasher?

Take the nebulizer apart. Place the pieces in a dishwasher basket on the top rack. After the dishwasher cycle is done, shake out the extra water and place on paper towel to dry. 

How do I clean and disinfect in the microwave?

Take the nebulizer apart. Place in a bowl and cover with warm soapy water. Microwave for 3-5 minutes. Shorten time in high power microwaves to keep the nebulizer from melting. Rinse with hot water. Place pieces on a paper towel to dry.


If you have questions or need more supplies, call UW Health Care Direct (608) 203-2273.

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.