Antiviral medications are an important tool in the management of influenza, particularly in high-risk individuals or during severe flu outbreaks. These medications work by inhibiting the replication of influenza viruses, thereby reducing the duration and severity of illness and lessening the risk of complications. Antiviral medications are most effective when started early, ideally within the first 48 hours of symptom onset, but they may still provide some benefit if initiated later in the course of illness. There are several antiviral drugs approved for the treatment of influenza, including oseltamivir (Tamiflu), zanamivir (Relenza), peramivir (Rapivab), and baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza). These medications are available in oral, inhaled, or intravenous formulations, depending on the specific drug. While antiviral medications can help alleviate symptoms and shorten the duration of illness, they are not a substitute for vaccination, which remains the best way to prevent the flu. Antiviral treatment may be recommended for individuals at higher risk of flu-related complications, such as young children, older adults, pregnant women, and those with underlying health conditions. It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for guidance on the appropriate use of antiviral medications, as they may not be suitable for everyone and can have side effects or interactions with other medications. Additionally, antiviral resistance can develop over time, underscoring the importance of judicious use and ongoing monitoring of these medications in the management of influenza.