New flu drug making waves as Oklahoma continues to deal with the virus

EDMOND, Okla. – As the flu season continues in Oklahoma, folks are looking for anything to help them feel better.

On Thursday, we learned there have been 320 new hospitalizations reported from the virus in the 6-day period from February 20 to February 26.

Sadly, one person passed away in the time period, adding to the 35 others who have passed away from the virus since September of last year.

There is a new drug on the market, though, that is showing some promise and relief. It’s called ‘Xofluza.’

If the name doesn’t sound familiar, Xofluza was just approved by the FDA last fall. What separates it from past drugs is it’s a one-dose process, as opposed to others that take anywhere from 5-10 days to complete.

Dr. Melinda Cail with Primary Health Partners in Edmond said she just started prescribing the drug to some of her patients. She said some doctors shy away from drugs like it and Tamilflu because they only promise to knock a day or two off your illness but she still thinks they are worth it.

“It’s 7-10 days of being miserable,” Cail said. “I, for one, am a big fan of anything that can shorten it because being miserable for 7-10 days is awful. So, when I’ve taken Tamiflu in the past, I’m better in a couple of days.”

Cail said there’s no proof yet that it can be used as a preventative measure like Tamiflu – but the real edge Xofluza has is that there aren’t many known strains resistant to it here in the United States yet.

Xofluza is only approved for patients ages 12 and up.

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