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New flu medication to stop symptoms in a day
July 15, 2018, 4:44 pm

A new single-dose influenza treatment developed and approved in Japan is now getting priority review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.

The new drug, baloxavir marboxil — known by its trade name Xofluza in Japan — has drawn interest from experts across the world as a novel development in flu treatment. If approved by the FDA, the drug would be the first oral, one-dose antiviral and the first medicine with a novel proposed mechanism of action to treat the flu in nearly 20 years. The drug was only recently developed by Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi and approved for use in Japan in February 2018, for adults and children ages 12 and over.

Unlike traditional flu treatments such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu), which require numerous doses, Xofluza requires only a single dose of an oral tablet following flu infection. The drug works by disrupting the ability of a virus to replicate itself, resulting in lessened severity of symptoms and decreased duration of illness. The drug’s mechanism of action differs from Tamiflu and is designed to target both influenza strain A and B, as well as strains resistant to Tamiflu.

The drug has been shown to decrease flu symptom time from over three days (80.2 hours) in a placebo group to about two-and-half (53.7 hours) for Xofluza. Fever resolution was also much quicker: about one day with Xofluza, compared to almost two days with the placebo. IN addition, the ‘viral shedding’ time — an indicator of how contagious a person is — was significantly shorter, about a day, in those taking Xofluza, compared to four days for those in the placebo group.

“It should become everyone’s social responsibility not to spread flu to others, and the way you do that is to get vaccinated because that’s the best thing you can do,” said one doctor about the new drug.







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