FDA Expands Xofluza Indication to Include Postexposure Flu Prophylaxis

Megan Brooks


November 25, 2020

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the indication for the antiviral baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza) to include postexposure prophylaxis of uncomplicated influenza in people aged 12 years and older.

"This expanded indication for Xofluza will provide an important option to help prevent influenza just in time for a flu season that is anticipated to be unlike any other because it will coincide with the coronavirus pandemic," Debra Birnkrant, MD, director, Division of Antiviral Products, FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a press release.

In addition, Xofluza, which was previously available only in tablet form, is also now available as granules for mixing in water, the FDA said.

The agency first approved baloxavir marboxil in 2018 for the treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza in people aged 12 years or older who have been symptomatic for no more than 48 hours.

A year later, the FDA expanded the indication to include people at high risk of developing influenza-related complications, such as those with asthma, chronic lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, or morbid obesity, as well as adults aged 65 years or older.

The safety and efficacy of Xofluza for influenza postexposure prophylaxis is supported by a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial involving 607 people aged 12 years and older. After exposure to a person with influenza in their household, they received a single dose of Xofluza or placebo.

The primary endpoint was the proportion of individuals who became infected with influenza and presented with fever and at least one respiratory symptom from day 1 to day 10.

Of the 303 people who received Xofluza, 1% of individuals met these criteria, compared with 13% of those who received placebo.

The most common adverse effects of Xofluza include diarrhea, bronchitis, nausea, sinusitis, and headache.

Hypersensitivity, including anaphylaxis, can occur in patients taking Xofluza. The antiviral is contraindicated in people with a known hypersensitivity reaction to Xofluza.

Xofluza should not be coadministered with dairy products, calcium-fortified beverages, laxatives, antacids, or oral supplements containing calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, aluminium, or zinc.

Full prescribing information is available online.

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