Those suffering from the flu have a new option to relieve symptoms after 20 years. Xofluza, is a single dose oral drug that has been approved by the FDA to treat the sickness, this comes after 20 years of prescribing the same prescription to patients. The flu affects thousands of people each year, and having another safe and effective treatment is critical to keep the illness under control. The pill is offered to those who are 12 years and older and have had flu symptoms for no longer than 48 hours. Treating a respiratory illness in this time frame with antiviral drugs can help reduce symptoms and the duration of the illness in someone.
After two clinical trials with 1800 patients, doctors were able to prove that taking the drug in the 48-hour time frame eased the symptoms of the the flu in a shorter amount of time than the placebo patients. Although Xofluza eased the symptoms in patients, there were no distinct differences in those who took another flu drug instead. Like many other drugs, there are side effects, the two most common for Xofluza are diarrhea and bronchitis.
Xofluza is now available across the U.S for $150 without insurance and as low as $30 with. Although a new drug is in place to help with the treatment of the Flu, Dr. Scott Gottlieb who was in charge of the study urges everyone who has not done so, to get the flu shot, since no treatment is a replacement to the vaccine.
It is recommended to receive the vaccine by the end of October of each year. Flu vaccines are available at doctors offices, local pharmacies, and some workplaces. Although imperfect, those who still get the flu after the vaccine are less likely to be hospitalized or die from the illness.
Although the new drug has only been present in the health care system for a short period of time, it now has opened doors for other pharmaceutical companies to look into creating another form of Xofluza at a cheaper price, that can be easily distributed to those suffering from the illness.