A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine says a single dose of a new flu drug can significantly shorten the duration of the illness in teenagers and adults.

The drug, baloxavir mtheoxil, reduced the duration of flu symptoms by about one day and cleared the flu virus much faster than other drugs.

The two-phase study also found that baloxavir has greater antiviral potency, with no major side effects reported.

“Single-dose baloxavir was without evident safety concerns, was superior to placebo in alleviating influenza symptoms and was superior to both oseltamivir and placebo in reducing the viral load one day after initiation of the trial regimen,” the researchers noted.

Frederick Hayden of the University of Virginia School of Medicine was one of the researchers who partook in the trials.

He said: “Baloxavir shows remarkable antiviral potency in uncomplicated influenza, and if approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it would be an important addition to our treatment options for influenza.

“Of note, because baloxavir has a novel antiviral action in inhibiting the endonuclease of the virus, the drug is inhibitory for influenza A and B viruses including those that may be resistant to currently available drugs.”

The drug is awaiting approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after being accepted for priority review in June.



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