One-Dose Flu Treatment Reduces Symptoms But No Substitute For Vaccine

28 October, 2018, 04:13 | Author: Kara Nash
  • Flu vaccines

The Xofluza approval isn't just a milestone for flu drug development, though-it's a potential landmark for FDA drug approvals at large.

Beyond treating individuals and shortening the duration of flu symptoms, Xofluza has a potential public health benefit, says Deresinski. It's more convenient than Tamiflu, which is given in 10 pills over the course of five days.

"One of the worst seasons of flu was last year, so 80,000 people died in the United States last year because of the flu", said Dr. Joshua Lenchus, chief medical officer at Broward Health Medical Center. However, both treatments require that patients see their physicians within the first day or two that they start feeling the characteristic fever chills and sore throat-which may be hard for patients.In Japan, where the drug was approved in February, a single pill costs $43.50; Genentech has provided a coupon for it online for as little as $30 (pdf).The easiest way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot.

"It's a one-pill, single dose prescription medication", said Lenchus. The flu typically kills about 12,000 to 56,000 Americans annually. "With thousands of people getting the flu every year, and many people becoming seriously ill, having safe and effective treatment options is critical".

For the first time in nearly two decades, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug to combat the flu in people over 12 years old after symptoms have started.The approval, announced on Wednesday (Oct. 24), comes just in time for the ramping up of flu season in the northern hemisphere.


In company testing on 1,064 people, Xofluza ended coughing, sneezing and fever, or greatly reduced symptoms, in just over two days on average. A comparison group given Tamiflu fared similarly.

"It reduces the excretion of the virus more rapidly than Tamiflu", he says.

How much of an impact will Xofluza have on this year's flu? However, some patients did develop side effects including diarrhea and bronchitis, per the recent statement.

Similar to Tamiflu, it needs to be taken within 48 hours of developing symptoms to be effective.

Those "other flu medications" include Tamiflu (also offered as generic oseltamivir), Relenza, and Rapivab. Those who are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding should also talk to their doctor before taking Xofluza, since its effects on an unborn baby or infants are unknown. The study was conducted in the USA and Japan by Shionogi & Co., Ltd.

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