FDA Approves New Flu Medication for Combating Symptoms

XOFLUZA Will Be Released in the Coming Weeks

Flu season is just around the corner and it’s time for millions of Americans to roll up their sleeves and get their annual flu shot. But some individuals may be hesitant to sign up for a flu shot, choosing instead to take their chances. There’s still a great deal of misinformation surrounding the flu shot. But patients across the country will soon have access to another form of treatment known as XOFLUZA, a new pill for relieving flu symptoms. Learn more about this new medication and how it could change flu season forever.

What Is XOFLUZA?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just approved a new single-dose pill known as XOFLUZA that’s designed to relieve flu symptoms and shorten the duration of the flu. Patients should take the pill within the first 48 hours of onset symptoms after making an appointment with their doctor to get a prescription. XOFLUZA can be prescribed to patients 12 years and older once they’ve been diagnosed with the flu.

The medication is designed to block viral replication of the virus early on in the influenza cycle, which will limit the patient’s symptoms and prevent them from spreading the disease. The medication was developed in response to last year’s flu season, considered the deadliest outbreak of the last 40 years. 900,000 people were hospitalized last year due to flu-like symptoms with 80,000 flu-related deaths. This new medication will be available in the coming weeks as a way of reigning in symptoms and making patients less contagious.

Fewer Symptoms with Less Side-Effects

Patients currently have access to some flu medications, including Oseltamivir or Tamiflu, for combating flu-like symptoms, but XOFLUZA is proving to be more effective. It stops viral replication faster and with fewer side-effects, helping patients get back to their normal routine as soon as possible. Tamiflu is often associated with unpleasant side-effects such as nausea, headaches, and dizziness.

While XOFLUZA is not without side-effects, they appear to be milder than those associated with previous flu medications.

Why Some Patients May Choose XOFLUZA Over the Flu Shot

The flu shot has been an integral part of American life for decades, but many people are still skeptical of the benefits of getting a flu shot. Some patients may get the shot after they’ve been infected with the influenza virus, in which case the shot won’t be effective. But, due to some confusion, some patients may associate their illness with the flu shot itself, leading them to forgo the shot in the future.

While the flu shot does contain dead elements of the virus and may cause some mild flu-like symptoms, it doesn’t cause the flu, and it’s still considered an effective way of preventing the flu. But patients must receive the shot at least a week before they come in contact with the virus. With some of these fears and misconceptions in mind, some patients would rather take their chances than sign up for treatment before they actually get sick. But after last year’s devastating flu season, doctors want their patients to protect themselves.

That’s why XOFLUZA may be so popular among patients. Instead of signing up for a shot before they get sick, they can use the medication to relieve their symptoms quickly and prevent contamination. But the patient will still experience early onset symptoms if they choose not to get a shot. Patients that decide to rely on XOFLUZA also need to remember that they’ll need to get a prescription within 48 hours of experiencing symptoms, and this may not be realistic for some individuals, including those with limited access to healthcare services.

Doctors should educate their patients on the benefits of XOFLUZA before the height of flu season, while still recommending the traditional flu shot. Only time will tell if this new medication is the miracle pill some are hoping for. 

Sources: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm624226.htm

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2018/10/25/fda-approves-xofluza-what-makes-this-new-flu-treatment-different/

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