FDA Approves a New Flu Drug
One of our Cardiologists from our sister practice Manhattan Cardiology and co-founder of LabFinder, Rober Segal, MD, was quoted in a Vogue article about a new Flu drug.
After last year’s unprecedented flu season, which caused nearly 80,000 flu-related deaths in the U.S., this year is beginning with a bit of good news: There’s a new FDA-approved drug for treating the virus, the first in nearly two decades.
The new drug, which will be sold under the name Xofluza, works differently than the current go-to prescriptions, including Tamiflu. Xofluza requires only one dose—compared with Tamiflu’s two pills a day for five days—for people ages 12 and up to help reduce symptoms and shorten the illness, as long as it’s taken in the first two days of sickness. “I’m excited to see how effective it is,” says Dr. Robert Segal, a cardiologist, and co-founder of Labfinder.com, an online platform that offers patients help with scheduling laboratory and radiology tests as well as unlimited access to their results. In addition to it being a single dose treatment, Xofluza is also “based on a novel mechanism against the flu, hopefully [allowing for] little to no drug resistance.” The new technique, which blocks the enzyme needed by the virus to replicate itself, has been shown to work against the many drug-resistant strains that have sprung up in recent years, such as the common A and B strains. “If it’s effective, it will be a game changer.”
This drug isn’t a cure-all, though, and the best offense against the flu is, of course, a good defense. “None of these medications can replace how effective getting a flu shot is,” says Segal. “It’s so important to get vaccinated every year. This is not just to protect yourself, but to also protect those around you.” (The best time to get the shot is early fall, as flu season peaks between December and February.) Beyond the shot, avoid people who are already infected. “As simple as it sounds, the flu virus is highly contagious, so the probability of you being infected increases if you’re with someone who’s already sick.” Other obvious-but-effective measures include washing your hands regularly, eating well, and staying hydrated with clear fluids. “Drinking a lot of water helps your immune system. The vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables will also help support your system, and keep the flu away.”
Read the original article placement on Vogue.