By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – On Wednesday, the FDA approved a new drug to treat the flu just in time for flu season. Xofluza is intended for the treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza in patients 12 and older. The prescription drug is given as a single oral dose.

When taken within 48 hours of developing symptoms of the flu, Xofluza can help reduce the severity of symptoms and shorten the course of illness.

While there are several other drugs on the market to treat people with early influenza, this is the first new flu treatment with a different mechanism of action approved in almost 20 years.

That said, the best way to prevent infection and complications from the flu is to get the vaccine, preferably before the end of October.

Dr. Mallika Marshall