Antiviral medications with activity against influenza viruses are an important adjunct to influenza vaccine in the control of influenza.
Influenza antiviral prescription drugs can be used to treat influenza, and some can be used to prevent influenza.
Six licensed prescription influenza antiviral drugs are approved in the United States.
Four influenza antiviral medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are recommended for use in the United States during the 2018-2019 influenza season.
Three drugs are chemically related antiviral medications known as neuraminidase inhibitors that block the viral neuraminidase enzyme and have activity against both influenza A and B viruses: oral oseltamivir phosphate (available as a generic version or under the trade name Tamiflu®), inhaled zanamivir (trade name Relenza®), and intravenous peramivir (trade name Rapivab®).
The fourth drug is oral baloxavir marboxil (trade name Xofluza®), which is active against both influenza A and B viruses, but has a different mechanism of action than neuraminidase inhibitors. Baloxavir is a cap-dependent endonuclease inhibitor that interferes with viral RNA transcription and blocks virus replication.
More information regarding the four recommended antiviral medications is available: