Mission: To save lives and reduce hospitalizations by protecting children, families, and communities against influenza.
Insights on Influenza
  • Science & Research

Flu and COVID-19 Antiviral Treatments

text reading 'antivirals flu and covid'
Posted on January 18, 2022
Share this article:

Once you’ve taken a diagnostic test and have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or flu, what can you do? You don’t have to just sit at home and wait it out – instead, there are treatment options!

Below, we outline how flu and COVID-19 antivirals compare:


  • How they work: antivirals work to stop the virus from infecting and making copies in your cells and stop the spread of flu or COVID-19 to healthy cells.
  • Benefits: people who take them are expected to be sick for less time, have complications, be hospitalized, or die from flu/COVID-19.
  • When to take: ASAP! Antivirals work best when taken early because the medication stops the virus from making copies.
  • They are different than antibiotics: Antivirals work to treat viruses, while antibiotics fight against bacterial infections. However, some people who get sick with a virus can develop a secondary bacterial infection.
  • Medication is not a substitute for vaccination! Prevention is much more effective than intervention – people who are vaccinated are likely to have better outcomes than people who are unvaccinated. The antivirals add an extra layer of protection.


Flu antivirals:

  • There are four FDA-approved antiviral drugs to treat flu: oseltamivir phosphate (available as a generic version or under the trade name Tamiflu®), zanamivir (trade name Relenza®), peramivir (trade name Rapivab®), and baloxavir marboxil (trade name Xofluza®).
  • CDC recommends prompt treatment for people who have flu or suspected flu and who are at higher risk of serious flu complications, such as people who are pregnant, those with asthma, diabetes (including gestational diabetes), or heart disease.

COVID-19 antivirals:

  • There are currently two oral pills that are available for people to take in an outpatient, non-hospital setting – Paxlovid and Mulnupiravir
  • COVID-19 antivirals are currently in short supply in the U.S.
  • Other treatment options include monoclonal antibodies, injections, and infusions that take place in hospitals or clinics – some are reserved only for people who are hospitalized or in critical condition.

Get tested!

Don’t assume that a test won’t make a difference. An accurate diagnosis can lead to proper treatment.









You might also be interested in...

History of Vaccines: How and Why Do Vaccines Work
Fighting Flu Together: Know Your Flu Testing Options in 2024
Survey Finds 2 in 3 Parents Get a Preventative Flu Shots Each Year
Stay Informed
Sign up for our Weekly Flu News and quarterly newsletter, Fighting Influenza, to stay up-to-date on the latest flu news.


You are required to accept all of the terms and conditions in this License Agreement in order to receive a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FAMILIES FIGHTING FLU, INC. logo, displayed below (the “FFF Logo”), from Families Fighting Flu, Inc. (“FFF”). In order to accept these terms and conditions, you must click the “I Accept” button below.

  1. FFF hereby grants to you, and you accept, a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FFF Logo, which you may download and use solely in online and print earned media publications for a period of no more than six (6) months in the United States.
  2. You acknowledge that the FFF Logo is a valid trademark; that FFF is the sole owner of the FFF Logo; and that FFF retains all right, title, and interest in and to the FFF Logo. You agree that any and all use that you make of the FFF Logo, and any and all goodwill arising from your use of the FFF Logo, shall inure exclusively to the benefit of FFF.  You also agree that you shall not challenge the validity of the FFF Logo or FFF’s ownership or title thereto during the term of the License Agreement or thereafter.
  3. You agree that you shall use the FFF Logo only in the form shown above, and that you shall not alter, modify, change, or edit the FFF Logo in any manner.
  4. You acknowledge the valuable goodwill and reputation in the FFF Logo, and that it is essential that the high standards and reputation associated with the FFF Logo be maintained. You therefore agree to use the FFF Logo consistent with the highest standards of quality so as to protect and maintain the FFF Logo and FFF’s rights therein.
  5. FFF shall have the right to review and inspect your use of the FFF Logo at any time. FFF, in its sole discretion, may determine that you are not using the FFF Logo in an acceptable manner and require that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo.  To the extent that FFF requires that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo, you agree that you shall remove the FFF Logo from all online and print earned media publications as soon as practicable under the circumstances, and that you shall not use the FFF at any time in the future.
  6. You must include the following notice in connection with any use of the FFF Logo: “The Families Fighting Flu, Inc. logo is the registered trademark of Families Fighting Flu, Inc.”
I Accept