Baloxavir marboxil is a medicinal product currently in development for the post-exposure prophylaxis (prevention) of influenza in individuals aged 12 years and above. 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). Most cases of flu will resolve within three to seven days. Although vaccines are the preferred method of flu prevention, they require continual evolution and may not provide protection to everyone. Other treatments are therefore also recommended for flu prevention and containment.
Baloxavir marboxil is given by mouth as tablets and 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 do not work. Additionally, only one dose of baloxavir marboxil is needed whereas existing flu prevention medications need to be taken over several days. If licenced, baloxavir marboxil may offer an additional prevention option for individuals who have been in contact with someone who has influenza.