Baloxavir marboxil for treatment of influenza A or B infection in otherwise healthy patients aged 12 years and older
Influenza or ‘flu’ is a common virus infection which causes high temperature, body aches, tiredness, cough, sore throat, headache, diarrhoea and nausea. Flu is usually spread by coughs and sneezes and occurs in annual flu seasons (commonly October to May). There are two main types of virus which cause flu: Influenza A and Influenza B. Most cases of flu will resolve without the need for any treatment beyond self-care within three to seven days. However flu can be more severe in those who are older, in babies and in people with long term health conditions, such as heart disease, asthma or diabetes. There are currently two medications available to treat and prevent flu during epidemics.
Baloxavir marboxil is the first new flu medication to be developed within the last 20 years. It works in a different way to existing flu medications by blocking a specific process which influenza viruses use to multiply within the body. There is evidence that this medication may be effective in people for whom existing flu medicines (oseltamivir) do not work. Additionally, only one dose of baloxavir marboxil is needed whereas existing flu medications need to be taken over several days. If licenced, baloxavir marboxil may offer an additional treatment option for patients with influenza A or B infection and for people who have suspected oseltamivir-resistant influenza.