Published: Sun, October 28, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

What's with the new flu medication xofluza - Womens Health

What's with the new flu medication xofluza - Womens Health

Genentech announced yesterday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved XOFLUZA™ for the treatment of the flu, in patients 12 years of age and older. "With thousands of people getting the flu every year, and many people becoming seriously ill, having safe and effective treatment options is critical. This novel drug provides an important, additional treatment option", said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, a record 900,000 people were hospitalized and more than 80,000 died from flu last season.

And preliminary evidence suggests that Xofluza might be effective against strains of flu that have developed resistance to Tamiflu, though this has yet to be confirmed in clinical studies. The flu typically kills about 12,000 to 56,000 Americans annually.

The most common adverse reactions in patients taking Xofluza included diarrhea and bronchitis.

Each year, an estimated 3-11 percent of the US population gets the flu, and it can be very serious, resulting in hospitalization or even death. It's more convenient than Tamiflu, which is given in 10 pills over the course of five days.

Dr. Gottlieb added that although a drug like Xofluza can help with flu symptoms, it's no substitute for yearly vaccination.

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XOFLUZA is a first-in-class, single-dose oral medicine with a novel proposed mechanism of action that inhibits polymerase acidic endonuclease, an enzyme essential for viral replication, according to a company press release.

The drug's approval was based on two randomized controlled trials of 1,832 patients who received Xofluza, a placebo, or another antiviral influenza treatment within 48 hours of experiencing symptoms.

As the flu season approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, news of a drug that can shorten the duration of influenza symptoms, even by a matter of a day or two, may be warmly welcomed.

The prescription drug should only be taken within the first 48 hours of flu symptoms.

Schaffner also says that to treat influenza type B, which can often become more dominant in spring months, more medication may be needed. It's a prescription for that very bad moment when you get the bug but a doctor at Nebraska Medicine says it doesn't take away from the importance of getting a flu shot. While the efficacy of Roche's Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) is similar to that of Roche's Tamiflu, it will play a role in the armory of drugs against what can be a deadly infection.

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