Flu season is almost here, and almost everyone is bracing up for the impact. I have a little bit of good news for everyone who is set for the 2018-2019 season of flu, and it’s a new and improved medication that’ll make surviving through the flu season more comfortable than ever.
On Wednesday, news was released stating that the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) recently approved of a new flu medication called Xofluza.
The FDZ commissioner, Scott Gottlieb. M.D said on Wednesday that: “This is the first new antiviral flu treatment with a novel mechanism of action approved by the FDA in nearly 20 years.”
And to be honest, it is high time this drug like this was made. According to the associated press, reports by the centre for disease control and Prevention (CDC) it was discovered that last year’s flu season was on the doozy side as an estimate of about 80,000 people died from flu, and it’s complications.
In fact, last winter was so terrible that the Xofluza was given a priority review by the Food and drugs administration (FDA) and reducing the time it takes for approval from the usual ten months to six months to get the Xofluza drug to the general public.
CNN reported that in the coming weeks the medication will be made available and can be purchased from drug stores.
What is xofluza and what does it really do?
According to the Xofluza medication website, the Xofluza is an antiviral prescription medication to treat flu in people 12 years and older. Nevertheless, here is the catch: The drug only works if the person taking it has had the symptoms of flu (like muscle aches, fever, and fatigue) for less than two days, i.e. 48hours.
Xofluza will help you get better from the flu in a little over two days ( in the Xofluza clinical trial patients felt better between two to three days or 58 hours, versus 80 hours with a placebo). Per the FDA, when Xofluza was compared to other forms of flu treatments, the patients recovered at the same rate.
The best part is that you only need a dose of one dose of the drug with or without eating which is good news for people who hate to take pills. So once you take a dose that’s all you need.
Just like other medications, the Xofluza has side effects. The most common side effect reported is bronchitis and diarrhoea per the FDA.
For expecting mums, breastfeeding mums, and women trying to get pregnant, it is advisable that they discuss it with a doctor before taking the Xofluza medication since the side effects the drug will have on infants and unborn babies have not been discovered.
What makes it different from other flu meds?
The other popular flu medications include Rapivab, Tamiflu, and Relenza. Let’s look at the similarities first before we point out the differences.
One pronounced similarity between Xofluza and other flu medications is that they all work better when administered within 48hours of a patient exhibiting flu symptoms.
Xofluza also works at a similar rate with other flu meds ( in the trial, it was discovered that Xofluza made patients feel better at the same rate with other medications). However, that is all the similarities there is.
Unlike the Xofluza drug, Tamiflu is approved for children as young as two weeks old even though the dosing for adults differ from that of children and infants. Relenza can be given to children over seven years of age, and finally, anyone above two years can make use of Rapivab according to the CDC. While Xofluzia is for people, who are 12 years and above.
Then another difference is the quantity to be taken: Xofluzia is a one-time thing as you are good to go while for other flu medications, you have to take more for longer.
Normally, a person treating with Tamiflu and Relenza have to take it twice daily for five days, in either capsule or liquid form. Also, you can take Xofluzia with or without eating, but you can’t take other flu drugs without eating as they might irritate your stomach.
For Rapivab, you have to take it intravenously for 15 to 30 minutes according to the CDC. If you are thinking of which of these drugs you should treat your flu with, your doctor is in the best position to give you that piece of advice.
But the good part of having a variety of flu medications to choose from is that if one doesn’t work well with your body, another one certainly will. Also, the flu virus is known sometimes to become resistant so having the option of different drugs that work in varying ways will attach the virus and overcome it.
Most importantly, please note that the mentioned medications were made to help speed up your recovery from the flu once you have it. Xofluza is in no way a substitute for the flu shot.