FDA approves new flu-fighting drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Rapivab to treat flu infections in adults, the first neuraminidase inhibitor approved for intravenous administration.

The drug is intended for patients 18 years old and older who have uncomplicated influenza and have shown flu symptoms for more than two days.

"The availability of a single-dose, intravenous option for the treatment of acute uncomplicated flu allows healthcare professionals and patients to have a choice based on an individual patient's needs," said Edward Cox, MD, MPH, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Other neuraminidase inhibitors that are approved by the FDA include oral and inhaled drugs, oseltamivir and zanamivir, respectively.

Rapivab was approved after trials showed Rapivab recipients had combined influenza symptoms that alleviated 21 hours sooner than patients on a placebo. Additionally, Rapivab patients returned to normal temperature about 12 hours sooner compared to people on a placebo.

Rapivab is made by Durham, N.C.-based BioCryst Pharmaceuticals.

More articles on the flu:
High-dose flu vaccine better for the elderly, study shows
Flu outbreaks cause US hospitals to restrict visiting hours
Flu shots prevented 7.2M illnesses last year

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