Whenever a new drug is introduced, we want to know two things: how well does it work? and also, what are the side effects? We recently wrote about the flu medicine Xofluza, which shortens the duration of symptoms by about a day. Likewise, we have looked into Xofluza side effects.
What Are the Xofluza Side Effects?
Q. I read on your website about the new flu drug called Xofluza. I had to laugh at the side effects of diarrhea, bronchitis, nausea and sinusitis. Wait, isn’t that just like the flu?
Seriously, how often do Xofluza side effects happen and how severe are they? Is it worth it to take the drug?
A Bit of Background:
A. Baloxavir (Xofluza) is the first new oral flu drug to be approved in nearly 20 years. Like oseltamivir (Tamiflu), it shortens the duration of flu symptoms by about one day. To maximize its effectiveness, start taking it within the first 48 hours of symptoms. If you can manage it, sooner is even better. People who took Xofluza the first day they noticed symptoms got better sooner.
Xofluza Side Effects:
Xofluza side effects are not much more common than those that occur due to placebo treatments. In the clinical trials, diarrhea occurred in five percent of people on placebo and three percent of those on Xofluza. Bronchitis was a problem for two percent of those taking the drug and four percent of subjects on placebo. Other symptoms were reported by one percent of those taking Xofluza. At this point, side effects do not appear to be so serious that they should stop someone from taking the medication. Keep in mind, however, that we may learn about other adverse reactions only after a lot of people have experience taking the drug.
One advantage of this new prescription flu medicine is that you take only one dose. Unfortunately, Xofluza is pricey ($150 to $160). Consequently, you will need to check with your insurance company to see whether they will cover it and how much you will end up paying.