Dr. Gledhill recommends stocking up on the same medications you’d use for influenza.
Tylenol (or acetaminophen)—ideally the Cold and Flu version—will help reduce symptoms like fever, headaches, muscle aches and congestion. Avoid an Ibuprofen-based version, as there’s concern that it may exacerbate symptoms. (This hasn’t yet been proven, but you’re best to play it safe.)
Gravol is your best bet for nausea, as it’s the simplest solution and still readily available. In case you’re too nauseated to keep the oral form down, you may want to pick up a suppository version as well.
They may be hard to find, but zinc lozenges have been shown to reduce the duration of viral infection by a very small amount. If you’re able to get your hands on some, they certainly can’t hurt.
Tamiflu, which has been used to help reduce the impact of influenza infections in the past, has been shown to be ineffective against the COVID-19 virus.
Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is getting some attention on the Internet for possibly helping with the COVID-19 infection. Purely speculative, there is no good evidence to support this claim, and public health currently does not endorse its use. (That could change as evidence emerges.) There are also significant side effects of Plaquenil, some of which that may exacerbate COVID-19 symptoms.
Rehydrate with broth and low-sugar sports drinks
Consume hot drinks like tea and lemon water
Use a humidifier
Use a Netty Pot or nasal rinse device to help clear nasal secretions
It is unlikely that heading to an assessment center will be particularly helpful, and it may expose you or others to COVID-19 if you don’t already have it. Since many individuals are being turned away without testing, try calling an assessment center hotline—or using our Symptom Screener—first to see if you should proceed.
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