The flu season is upon us. The scariest part of the Halloween season is the amount of sickness being spread from person to person in the form of colds and flus. So when the pumpkin patch is ripe for the picking, it is time to get vaccinated.
Time writes, “The FDA Approved a New Flu Treatment, Just In Time for Flu Season.”
“The agency on Wednesday approved Genentech’s drug Xofluza, which can be taken via a single oral dose to help patients recover more quickly from the flu. It’s the ‘first new antiviral flu treatment with a novel mechanism of action approved by the FDA in nearly 20 years,’ FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
“The main factor differentiating Xofluza from other antiviral flu treatments on the market, such as Tamiflu and Relenza, is the way it’s taken. Xofluza is the only antiviral that can be taken as a single oral dose. Tamiflu, for example, must be taken orally twice daily for five days, while Relenza is an inhaled powder.”
This new treatment is not a replacement for vaccination. It is a treatment rather than a prevention. Many insurance plans cover vaccinations for free or very low cost. You can even get them at some pharmacies. Xofluza will cost $150. The price can be reduced to as low as $30 with a special coupon.
Xofluza is not a magic pill. The flu is still a nasty piece of work. The new antiviral is expected to be as effective as other leading brands on the market. The difference is that the new oral treatment only has to be taken once as opposed to twice a day for multiple days like current flu products.
The 2017-18 flu season was one of the worst in history. It accounted for over 80,000 deaths. It bears repeating that the first line of defense against this common and deadly bug is early vaccination. Treatments like Xofluza should always be considered a second line of defense.
Xofluza has been approved by the FDA for people over age 12 with symptoms of uncomplicated flu for two days or less. According to WebMD, those most at risk for flu complications include adults age 65 and over, children from four months to six years of age, people in nursing homes, people with heart and lung disease, and people with compromised immune systems.