The New Relief for Your Flu Symptoms

Find out about this easier-to-manage flu treatment.

The New Relief for Your Flu Symptoms

Recently, the FDA approved a single-dose oral medication for treating influenza called Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil)—and it should be on pharmacy shelves for the next flu season.

This new antiviral drug blocks replications of the flu virus in your body in a slightly different way than the more familiar remedy Tamiflu (around since 1999). And its single dose is easier to manage than Tamiflu’s twice-a-day-for-five-days routine. But to take Xofluza, you have to be 12 years old; Tamiflu’s approved for two-week-old infants. For both, you can’t have had flu symptoms for more than 48 hours or the med isn’t effective. That’s why if you think you have the flu, see your doctor pronto! Then you can benefit from one of the antivirals that may reduce complications and help you feel better faster.

But don’t be cuckoo—get your flu shot. Yearly vaccination reduces your risk of getting the flu, and if you do get it, you’ll have less severe symptoms and reduce your risk for stroke and heart attack. Last year 80,000 people died from the flu, and while 90 percent of those deaths were in people over age 65, 80 percent of pediatric deaths were among unvaccinated children.

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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