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FDA Approves New Flu Medicine That Can Be Consumed As A Pill

There has not been a new flu treatment for two decades, with the last FDA-approved vaccinations being Tamiflu and Relenza — a class of pharmaceuticals called neuraminidase inhibitors.

Sure, there are annual shots to try to prevent some flu types from spreading. However, flu vaccines are only effective with some strains that scientists already know about. No flu vaccination works for new strains because a vaccination has to be created from a virus strain that has already been discovered and isolated.

This means that the human race is always at risk of being exposed to a new flu strain that creates a pandemic that could kill millions like the Spanish Flu that ravaged the world in 1918. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 500 million people caught the Spanish Flu and about 50 million, of those who caught it, died from it.

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Via Today Show

Yet, Fores reports that XOFLUZA, recently approved by the FDA, works in a unique way. If taken at the very first onset of flu symptoms, it may not prevent the sickness; however, it reduces the symptoms significantly and makes the chances of a faster recovery more likely, while decreasing the risk of death. Each year 5 percent to 20 percent of the global population is infected with the virus. During the last flu season, 80,000 people died from this disease including one otherwise young, strong athlete.

A nice thing about XOFLUZA is that the treatment is a single pill, taken just once. It is not suitable for children and only prescribed for those over the age of 12. It only works if flu symptoms first appeared no longer than during the previous 48 hours. It works well for the basic symptoms, but not as good if they're are already serious.

XOFLUZA works better than alternatives because it is an endonuclease enzyme inhibitor. It interrupts viral replication at an earlier stage than neuraminidase inhibitors such as Tamiflu or Relenza. When it comes to stopping a flu virus from spreading, the earlier the treatment is given and the sooner the viral interruption happens in the biochemical processes, the better.

XOFLUZA was originally developed by a Japanese company called Shionogi. It was already approved for use in Japan in February 2018. It will be sold in the USA by Genentech. A doctor’s prescription is required to get the medication.

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