A New Medication For Treating The Flu: Xofluza
by Tom Jeter, BS Pharm
Xofluza (zoh-FLOO-zuh, baloxavir) is the first new oral antiviral for treating influenza in almost 20 years.
Xofluza can be considered an alternative to Tamiflu. The most unique difference of the two is Xofluza is a ONE oral dose medication compared to the 5 days needed for Tamiflu. It also seems to cause less side effects of nausea and vomiting. The way it attacks the Flu is different than Tamiflu but it still only provides the same one day less flu symptoms in otherwise healthy patients when given at least within 48 hours of having the flu. There are not many results yet on how well it will do on patients that are chronically ill like people with Diabetes, Heart disease, Lung disease etc. or are older. The cost for Xofluza is more expensive, about $150 compared to Tamiflu which is $100 for 5 days of generic oseltamivir. Some Medicare Part D plans may not cover Xofluza. For now, Gayco recommends sticking with oseltamivir to treat flu in our high risk and /or severely ill residents and to start the medication as soon as possible after symptoms of the Flu are noticed. If your physicians do choose to use Xofluza, please to not schedule the medication to be given with dairy or products with calcium, aluminum, iron, etc. these may impair the absorption of Xofluza.
The most important prevention step in stopping the Flu is not getting it at all by administering the Flu vaccine.
N Engl J med 2018:379 (10):913-23
N Engl J Med 2018:379 (10): 975-7
Medication pricing by Elsevier
Pharmacist’s Letter. Dec 2018. N0. 341201