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What Over The Counter Medicine For Covid
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Charlotte, NC – Although some develop severe cases of the coronavirus, the CDC says most people with Covid-19 have a mild illness and are able to recover at home.
Spectrum News spoke with a physician’s assistant who said over-the-counter medications are safe to take if you have a mild case of the coronavirus.
“For patients who test positive for COVID-19 and have mild to moderate symptoms, we recommend that they stay home and take care of themselves,” said Wesley Thompson, MD, a physician assistant at Amity Medical Group.
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Thompson is a board certified HIV specialist and has been providing virology care for 35 years. Although there are some over-the-counter medications people can take, it’s important to remember that there is no cure and these medications can only help relieve symptoms, she said.
“There are questions about whether you can take non-steroidals like Aleve and Motrin,” Thompson said. “It was proposed in a scientific paper that the route could implement more variant viruses or faster. This has not been proven by science and some reputable sources say that the benefits of non-steroidal use, as they are anti-inflammatory and reduce fever, overcome any of these theoretical concerns”.
Health experts say it’s also important to pay attention to directions when taking over-the-counter medications. For example, Robitussin contains an ingredient called acetaminophen. The label advises not to give more than six doses in a 24-year period or it may cause liver damage.
“People tend to overuse inhalers, and if you use them, it can hyperexpand your lungs. That can cause a lot of problems, like not getting enough breath,” Thompson said.
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Thompson said it’s okay to take antihistamines, too, but she advises patients to check with their doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications.
The CDC states that if a person develops emergency warning signs of COVID-19, that person should seek medical attention immediately. These include shortness of breath, persistent chest pain or pressure, new confusion or inability to wake up, and blue lips or face. Haven’t filed taxes but have kids? Tell the IRS so you can get your full COVID payment as soon as possible
Hubby and I are isolated, which means I only leave the house every 10 days or so to pick up some perishables. However, this week, my grocery list was a little longer.
On top of the concerns of COVID-19, it’s been a bad allergy and sinus season for me. However, I was relatively lucky. In most cases, over-the-counter (OTC) medications do a good job for sneezing, runny nose, headaches, and itchy eyes. So I loaded up on off-the-shelf antihistamines, as well as cold and flu medications that treat the same symptoms without as much sleepiness. Will continue to work from home!
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I’m not alone. Many people have relatively minor medical problems. They also rely on OTC treatments for their seasonal ailments as well as everyday scrapes and minor medical complaints.
Now, buying these products has eliminated a major tax headache. If you have a medical spending account, you can use that money again to cover the costs of OTC treatments without getting a prescription from your doctor.
The return to the previous OTC reimbursement rules is part of the Coronavirus Relief, Assistance and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which became law in late March.
And you can thank women for the change. (You’re welcome.) The elimination of the blanket Rx requirement came in a provision of the CARES Act that expanded the use of the OTC expense account for monthly products.
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COVID-19 changes in medicine: Beyond the OTC changes, which we’ll get to in a minute, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the broader medical world.
Doctors, nurses and all medical workers around the world work overtime. But on the bright side, new treatments are being tested and researchers are working on a possible vaccine.
As a preventive measure, many of us are limiting doctor visits, turning to telemedicine. Instead of scheduled doctor appointments before the pandemic, I had two virtual visits with my doctors via my laptop and smartphone.
Ending a Decade of OTC Limits: Since we don’t see our doctors face-to-face or often, many of us are self-medicating. Usually this means turning to over-the-counter medications that we can pick up (or, still have supplies of while maintaining social distancing) at our local grocery or pharmacy.
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Now, again under the CARES Act, we can use our tax-advantaged medical savings account money – whether it’s in a Health Savings Account (HSA), Medical Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Archer Medical Savings Account (MSA) or Health Reimbursement Agreement (HRA). ) — paying for these OTC items without the hassle of getting approval from our doctors.
In particular, the COVID-19 law eliminated the Rx requirement, allowing us to again use spending account funds to pay for OTC drugs. This essentially brings us back to the OTC FSA etc rules. that were in place before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) curtailed them.
When the ACA, still known as Obamacare, was developed, lawmakers looked for creative ways to help pay for the law. One of these was limiting what was covered by medical expense accounts.
Before the ACA, medical spending accounts were routinely used to pay for a variety of OTC drugs. The ACA prohibits this, mandating that these over-the-counter treatments count toward OTC reimbursement only if they are prescribed by a physician.
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Yes, you must get an Rx for your Nyquil or FSA money. I know. There’s no money unless you’re on Capitol Hill pulling pennies to pay for legislation.
As the OTC restrictions went into effect, many in Congress began trying to change it to a more open OTC system. However, none of the proposals gained traction until we were in the midst of a severe pandemic.
Retrospective and ongoing: The OTC is retroactive to January 1, 2020 with no doctor writing changes, so you might want to see if you can find those old bills. Or at least find a charge for them on your credit card statement.
Even better, the CARES Act has no expiration date to revert to the old eligibility criteria for OTC reimbursement. It’s in place and doesn’t expire, at least not until Congress changes its mind again.
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In addition, the CARES Act also now: covers feminine hygiene products