Updated December 2, 2021
There is currently only one FDA approved medication (remdesivir or Veklury®) to treat COVID-19 in hospitalized adult and pediatric patients. Other medications have been investigated in clinical trials for treatment in hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients and the FDA has issued EUA (emergency use authorization) for some. However, many of these investigational therapies require close monitoring for side effects and are reserved for those with other high-risk medical conditions that lead to poor outcomes due to COVID-19. Most people infected with this virus, presenting with mild to moderate symptoms, benefit from and recover with supportive care such as rest, fluids, and fever control at home.
The FDA issued emergency use authorization for REGEN-COV to be used for prevention in some adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kilograms) AFTER they have been exposed to the virus. The use of this intravenously infused medication is reserved for those with compromised immune system (have immunocompromised medical condition or take immunosuppressive drugs) and are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection or being hospitalized.
The FDA has not authorized any medications to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure. Follow CDC Guidelines How To Protect Yourself & Others which include hand washing, cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, wearing a mask when around others, and social distancing. There is currently no evidence from controlled trials which support use of either Zinc, Vitamin C, or Vitamin D for preventing or treating COVID-19.
Hydroxychloroquine is FDA approved for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, malaria, and others. FDA revoked EUA that allowed use of this drug in certain hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Based on emerging scientific data, it is unlikely effective in treating COVID-19. Serious cardiac adverse events and other potential serious side effects no longer outweigh the potential benefits.
Ivermectin is FDA approved for use in humans to treat parasitic worms, headlice, and rosacea. It does NOT have FDA approval or EUA for prevention or treatment of COVID-19 due to limited safety and efficacy studies. FDA issued an alert to warn the public regarding inappropriate human use of ivermectin products intended for animal use to self-medicate for treatment of COVID-19. You should not take any medicine to treat or prevent COVID-19 unless it has been prescribed to you by your health care provider and acquired from a legitimate source.
There is currently no scientific evidence suggesting that use of ibuprofen can worsen COVID-19. This concern is hypothetical. The World Health Organization (WHO) has made no recommendation against the use of ibuprofen. If you are taking prescription ibuprofen, it is safe to continue taking it for your condition as prescribed by your provider. It is also safe to take either over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen at recommended doses for short-term use to relieve pain and reduce fever. Discuss with your providers about long-term use of either medication.
This is theoretical and not supported by robust evidence. Patients should continue taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen as part of their chronic pain management and if they chose to, can safely take acetaminophen or ibuprofen after vaccination to treat side effects including fever, headache, and body aches.
It is important for patients who have been prescribed ACE-Is and ARBs to continue their medication! The benefits of these therapies in reducing cardiovascular disease are well proven. No scientific evidence exists suggesting patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who are taking these medications had worse treatment outcomes. Furthermore, there is new evidence to suggest that patients with COVID-19 who continued their ACE-Is and ARBs as prescribed had better outcomes. The American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and Heart Failure Society of America recommends continued treatment as these medications are very important for your heart and your health. Do not stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your prescriber!
It is important for patients who have been prescribed metformin and other blood sugar lowering medications to continue their medication! The benefits of these therapies in maintaining diabetes control are well proven. There is no evidence from controlled trials suggesting patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who are taking these medications had worse or better outcomes. Do not stop or start taking any prescription medication without first consulting your prescriber.
Yes, these therapies are important to maintain your various health conditions (examples: allergies, asthma, COPD) and should be taken as prescribed by your provider. Do not stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your prescriber. Known concerns about corticosteroid use in COVID-19 have only been identified in hospitalized and critically ill patients taking oral corticosteroids. Discuss with your prescriber whether holding your oral corticosteroid medication before or after COVID-19 vaccination is necessary for your individual case.
It depends. Discuss with your prescriber whether holding a certain medication before or after COVID-19 vaccination is necessary for your individual case. In many occasions, getting the vaccine when it is available is more important than timing the vaccine administration.
Given that there is a Public Health Emergency in effect, the requirements for an in-office visit every three months have been relaxed to ensure patients have no gaps in obtaining these medications. Please contact your provider’s office two weeks before you are due for a refill. In many cases you will be able to have a visit with your provider either by phone or video.
There is no robust clinical evidence that correlates blood types with risk of COVID-19 infection. Currently, your blood type is not a risk factor for COVID-19. We appreciate if you refrain from contacting our offices and/or hospitals to inquire about your blood type as it does not affect how you will be managed if you are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.
Considering COVID-19 targets the lungs, we anticipate patients who smoke or vape tobacco or marijuana to be at increased risk of worse outcomes. Based on the information available and the known impact of smoking on other viral lung infections, it is encouraged to abstain from smoking or vaping tobacco or marijuana to minimize your risk. If you need assistance quitting, please contact your health care provider.