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#Allergy and Immunology
As we are well aware now that the people suffering from mild COVID-19 experience symptoms like cold, cough and fever. Managing such patients remotely is important to lessen the patient burden on the practitioners in the current pandemic scenario. A study published in 2021, talks about the numerous drugs prescribed for the treatment of mild symptoms of COVID-19.
The key outcomes from the survey were-
- Frequent use of acetaminophen, benzonatate, and albuterol metered-dose inhalers (MDI).
- Administration of acetaminophen (NSAID) therapy for the management of upper respiratory symptoms and sinus pain.
- High use of Antitussives like guaifenesin and benzonatate for cough and albuterol for shortness of breath.
- Use of Albuterol Metered Dose Inhalers in asthmatic/nonasthmatic patients.
- Albuterol, acetaminophen, non-sedating antihistamines, nasal steroid spray, and NSAIDs were regarded as efficacious by most of the clinicians.
- The most common medications reported for fever, cough, and shortness of breath were acetaminophen, benzonatate, and albuterol, respectively.
- Very few reported use of- guaifenesin for nasal or sinus congestion, albuterol for cough, inhaled fluticasone and budesonide/formoterol for cough.
- Repeated use of medications indicated for the treatment of upper respiratory infections, like acetaminophen for fever and over-the-counter (OTC) antitussives for cough.
- Frequent use of albuterol (non-first-line medication) in patients without a history of asthma or obstructive lung disease.
- Other efficacious drug used less frequently were- NSAIDs, nebulized albuterol (because of increased aerosol generation), Nasal steroid spray (because of uncertain efficacy in other respiratory infections) and opiates.
- higher efficacy of guaifenesin and nasal saline lavage
- Systemic symptoms were reported to be easier to manage with acetaminophen was highly effective with no requirement of additional antipyretic or analgesic treatment.
- Thus, they necessitated further studies to set the current medication guideline for the treatment of mild COVID-19 symptoms.
Source: O’Keefe, J.B., Newsom, L.C. & Taylor, T.H. A Survey of Provider-Reported Use and Perceived Effectiveness of Medications for Symptom Management in Telemedicine and Outpatient Visits for Mild COVID-19. Infect Dis Ther (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40121-021-00432-8