Are there any new flu treatments?

Ask the doctors

Q. I heard that there is a new medication that you can take for the flu. Is this a vaccine?

A. In October 2018, for the first time in 20 years, the FDA approved a new medication to treat the flu. Baloxavir marboxil, sold as Xofluza, is not a vaccine, but rather an antiviral drug that can help your body fight off influenza more quickly. Antivirals work by stopping viruses from reproducing, lessening both the severity of your symptoms and their duration. Xofluza joins two antiviral drugs commonly prescribed for flu, oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir inhaler (Relenza). (A third flu drug — peramivir, trade name Rapivab — is administered as an intravenous infusion.)

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »