New Antiviral for Influenza Approved

New Antiviral for Influenza Approved

On October 24, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) for the treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza in patients 12 years of age and older who have been symptomatic for no more than 48 hours.  Manufactured by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi & Co., Ltd., this is the first new influenza antiviral approved in 20 years.  Studies of baloxavir have shown that when patients are treated within 48 hours of influenza symptom onset, the duration and severity of illness can be reduced.  The most common adverse reactions seen in clinical trials were diarrhea and bronchitis.

Baloxavir inhibits the influenza virus cap-dependent endonuclease, which differs from the mechanism of most commonly used influenza antiviral, oseltamivir (Tamiflu), which targets the viral neuraminidase protein.  Unlike oseltamivir which requires multiple days of therapy, baloxavir therapy requires only one weight-based oral dose (patients weighing at least 40 kg but less than 80 kg receive a single 40 mg dose; those weighing 80 kg or more receive a single 80 mg dose).


Click here for FDA Press Release.

Additional information about oseltamivir and influenza vaccines can be found in the Top 300 Pharmacy Drug Cards or the Top 100 Nonprescription Drug Cards.  If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in to the Flash Card section.  If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.

For a chance to win GREAT prizes and learn more about medications in the Top 300, check out the Drug Card Scavenger Hunt page on AccessPharmacy. Follow us to receive email alerts when new Drug of the Week and Drug Card Scavenger Hunt updates are posted.