Cough Update: Different Treatment Trends in Managing Mild Symptoms Of Covid-19 |
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Cough Update: Different Treatment Trends in Managing Mild Symptoms Of Covid-19

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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).

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