What medicines should you take if you have Covid-19? Expert answers

  • India’s total infection tally has surpassed 15.5 million and the active caseload stands at 2,031,977.
Remdesivir is given only in hospital settings to moderate and severe covid-19 patients.(AP Photo )
Remdesivir is given only in hospital settings to moderate and severe covid-19 patients.(AP Photo )
Updated on Apr 21, 2021 08:12 AM IST
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By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

As India reels under the second wave of Covid-19 infections, many people who have tested positive for the coronavirus disease are isolating themselves at home. With the states trying to ramp up testing and hospital infrastructure, patients who are asymptomatic or are not very critical have been advised to quarantine and take precautions at home.

Follow latest updates on Covid-19 here

India’s total infection tally has surpassed 15.5 million and the active caseload stands at 2,031,977. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of those who died due to the virus and said, “The challenge is huge, we have to overcome it collectively with determination, courage and preparation.”

While the government has decided to widen its immunisation programme and vaccinate all citizens above 18 years of age, it shared the suggestions of Dr CS Pramesh, director Tata Memorial Hospital, on what medicines to take if someone has tested Covid-19 positive.

Here’s a look at Dr CS Pramesh’s advice

What medicines definitely help in Covid-19?

Unfortunately, very few. What definitely works is proning and oxygen (when saturation is low), and steroids (Dexamethasone) for moderate to severe disease

What medicines should you take if you have Covid-19?

*If your oxygen saturation is fine and you have no symptoms other than fever, all you need is Paracetamol

*There is some data that inhaling Budesonide helps you recover faster, but no hard endpoints like reduced mortality

*There is no evidence to suggest that anything helps - including Favipiravir/Ivermectin. Don't waste your time desperately trying to procure them

What about Remdesivir, Tocilizumab and Convalescent Plasma?

*Remdesivir doesn't work in all patients, probably a small subgroup of those requiring oxygen, but not sick enough that they require ventilation. And even here, it doesn't reduce mortality, probably helps early recovery


*Tocilizumab also helps only in very specic subgroups - those requiring rapidly increasing levels of oxygen or rapidly deteriorating respiratory parameters,

*There is even less evidence to support the use of Convalescent Plasma for Covid-19. Almost all studies done so far have shown that it is of no benefit

*Please allow your physician to decide when Remdesivir/Tocilizumab is required. There are very limited situations when they are beneficial and please don't pressurise the physicians to prescribe it - much of the shortage today is because of unnecessary prescriptions

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Thursday, October 21, 2021