Healthy Living

Over-the-counter medications for COVID-19

With over 2,118,790 people in the world having the COVID-19 virus, more than 535,270 cases have recovered. That means 25% of the confirmed cases. We can consider these statistics on a positive note, individuals infected with the virus can heal.

But how? There are different ways on how to manage a COVID-19 patient. This is highly dependent on the severity of the symptoms experienced by the person.

For example, those suffering from respiratory distress like having difficulty breathing or those who are having chest pains are most of the time admitted to a health care facility. There are also cases wherein the patient may show minor signs but are still hospitalized because of the existing co-morbidities. Examples of this would be heart problems, diabetes, and even asthma. They needed to be closely monitored because their situation can become complicated in a matter of days or hours.

On the other hand, those with mild symptoms like dry cough, fever, body weakness, and colds are sometimes advised to be managed at home. Generally speaking, those who are tested positive for the coronavirus are recommended to stay at home, practice respiratory and hand hygiene, and avoid being in contact with other people. They are instructed to observe their symptoms and once it gets worse, to contact 911 or their preferred medical care team.

As of now, there is no specific cure for COVID-19 yet. That being said, the focus of care is to provide relief from the signs and symptoms brought about by the virus. 

Addressing The Symptoms At Home

There are non-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical ways to address the symptoms. 

Ensuring that the patient gets enough rest is one of the primary things we can do. The patient should also stay hydrated at all times. One can take water with electrolytes as well. Eating foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals can help boost the immune system of the infected person as well. 

A tepid sponge bath can be provided for people with fever. Increasing oral fluid intake can also help lower the temperature. Steam inhalations are also proven effective in giving relief for clogged nose and headaches. A warm compress can alleviate muscle pain. Gargling warm water with salt may help lessen sore throat discomfort.

Having multivitamins can help just like eating nutritious foods. However, since the start of the outbreak, this has been one of those products that were targeted by hoarders. On top of that, many pharmacological manufacturers have shut down their factories due to the lockdown and other quarantine processes.

To help, let us identify over the counter medications according to the specific signs and symptoms COVID-19 patients normally experience.

OTC Drugs for Common Symptoms

Fever – having acetaminophen like Tylenol can help normalize the temperature of a person having pyrexia.

Sore throat – throat lozenge can deal with an irritated or inflamed throat. 

Cough – the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists says dextromethorphan can suppress the dry cough, however, this would not be as effective to others. Prednisolone and tacrolimus therapy was also advised by a medical oncologist and immunologist, Dr. S. Papa.

Body aches – acetaminophen does not only cure fever, but it also is known to relieve body aches, thus you can take this if you are having muscle pain 

Headache – pain relievers can be administered to address this

Runny or stuffy nose – nasal inhalers with peppermint can be soothing

Nasal congestion – nasal irrigation with saline solution, pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine are some of the over the counter drugs that can help.

Boosting the immune system – vitamin C 

Important Reminders

As you are all aware, you should take over the counter medications with precautions. From time to time, new researches are having discoveries. You can remember the time wherein they mentioned that the public should avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but the facts were questioned later on.

You also have to be watchful about the side and adverse effects of these OTC drugs like kidney failure or allergic reactions. When taking these drugs, bear in mind that you should administer it following the 5 rights of medication administration. It must be the right route, time, dosage, drug, and patient.