The Food and Drug Administration last week approved a new antiviral flu medication for patients aged 12 and older. While yearly vaccination is the primary means of preventing and controlling flu outbreaks, antiviral drugs can reduce flu symptoms and duration when used within 48 hours of becoming sick. “Having more treatment options that work in different ways to attack the virus is important because flu viruses can become resistant to antiviral drugs,” said Debra Birnkrant, M.D., director of the Division of Antiviral Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

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