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Differences and Similarities of Leading Flu Antivirals

November 18, 2020

We may not yet have access to a myriad of options for healing from COVID-19 illness, but we do have options for fighting the flu! In addition to getting a flu shot as a preventative, there are 4 FDA-approved antivirals used to treat flu this season! Here are some of the key differences in the four flu anti-virals most recommended by the CDC!

Oseltamivir phosphate AKA Tamiflu®

  • Available as pill or liquid suspension taken orally
  • Usually taken twice daily for 5 days
  • FDA approved as treatment for people 14 days and older, and as a preventative for people 3 months and older
  • Most common side effect: nausea and vomiting

Zanamivir aka Relenza®

  • Powder administered via inhaler
  • Usually taken twice daily for five days
  • FDA approved as early treatment for people 7 years and older, and as preventative in people 5 years and older
  • Not recommended for those with breathing problems like asthma or COPD
  • Most common side effect: bronchospasms

Peramivir aka Rapivab®

  • Given intravenously over period of 15-30 minutes in a healthcare facility
  • FDA approved for people 2 years and older
  • Most common side effect: diarrhea

Baloxavir marboxil aka Xofluza®

  • Single dose taken orally
  • Approved for people 12 years and older
  • Since there is not yet information about the use of Baloxavir in these groups, it is not recommended for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, hospitalized, or outpatients with complicated or progressive illness.

All four of these antivirals have 1 thing in common, though! They work best when started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

If you still need your flu shot, or if you start to feel unwell, your local MEDcare is here to help! Our urgent care centers are open every day of the week 8:00 am to 8:00 pm- No appointment necessary! We offer flu shots as well as flu and COVID-19 testing at all centers! To be seen by a provider, simply walk in, or save your spot online by clicking here. For information on E-registering to save time click here. We look forward to helping you Get Better. Faster!

 

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/treatment/whatyoushould.htm