The newly ap­proved flu re­lief

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Well­ness Of­fi­cer and Chair of Well­ness In­sti­tute at Cleve­land Clinic. To live your health­i­est, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.shar

When Mi­los For­man was hired to di­rect the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Burt Reynolds was the pro­duc­ers’ first choice for the role of McMur­phy, which even­tu­ally won Jack Ni­chol­son an Os­car as best ac­tor.

Seems when it comes to the Flew — or, the flu — first choices aren’t the only good op­tion. Re­cently, the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion ap­proved a sin­gle-dose oral med­i­ca­tion for treat­ing in­fluenza called Xofluza (balox­avir mar­boxil), and it should be on phar­macy shelves for this flu sea­son.

This new an­tivi­ral blocks repli­ca­tions of the flu virus in your body in a slightly dif­fer­ent way than the more fa­mil­iar rem­edy Tam­i­flu (around since 1999). Its sin­gle dose is eas­ier to man­age than Tam­i­flu’s twice-a-day-for­five-days rou­tine. But to take Xofluza you have to be at least 12 years old; Tam­i­flu is ap­proved for 2-week-old in­fants. For both, you can’t have had flu symp­toms for more than 48 hours or the med isn’t ef­fec­tive. That’s why, if you think you have the flu, you should see your doc­tor pronto! Then you can ben­e­fit from one of the an­tivi­rals that may re­duce com­pli­ca­tions and help you feel bet­ter faster.

But don’t be cuckoo: Get your flu shot. Yearly vac­ci­na­tion re­duces your risk of get­ting the flu, and if you do get it, you’ll have less-se­vere symp­toms and re­duce your risk for stroke and heart at­tack. Last year 80,000 peo­ple died from the flu, and while 90 per­cent of those deaths were in peo­ple over age 65, 80 per­cent of pe­di­atric deaths were among un­vac­ci­nated chil­dren.

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