Officials with the FDA have approved baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza) for the treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza in patients aged 12 years and older who have been symptomatic for no more than 48 hours.
The approval marks the first new antiviral flu treatment with a novel mechanism of action backed by the agency in nearly 20 years.The safety and efficacy of baloxavir marboxil, an antiviral drug taken as a single oral dose, was demonstrated in 2 randomized controlled clinical trials of 1,832 patients where participants were assigned to receive either Xofluza, a placebo, or another antiviral flu treatment within 48 hours of experiencing flu symptoms. In both trials, patients treated with Xofluza had a shorter time to alleviation of symptoms compared with patients who took the placebo. In the second trial, there was no difference in the time to alleviation of symptoms between subjects who received Xofluza and those who received the other flu treatment.
The most common adverse reactions in patients taking baloxavir marboxil were diarrhea and bronchitis. Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. When patients with the flu are treated within 48 hours of becoming sick, antiviral drugs can reduce symptoms and duration of the illness, according to the FDA.