Over-the-counter meds may ease COVID symptoms

By Logan Curtis | Daily Press

Over-the-counter medications are used by many people to fight off illnesses, such as COVID-19.

The severity of COVID-19 symptoms ranges considerably from person to person. Very few cases wind up with the patient having to be hospitalized, and with the milder infections, patients use a variety of ways and treatments on the road to recovery.

Since there is currently no treatment specifically tailored to fight COVID-19, picking the right over-the-counter medication may be confusing. Sarah Wyssmann, Walgreens pharmacist, said the best course of action is to treat whatever symptoms the sick individual is having.

"You are going to want to treat symptoms," said Wyssmann. "So if you still have a fever, some Tylenol is the answer. COVID-19 is different for everybody, so if you have chest compressions, you want to treat that symptom, or if nausea, you want to treat that symptom. It's pretty much patient to patient."

Wyssmann said if several people under the same roof all have tested positive for the virus, they do not need to quarantine from one another. She also said boosting the immune system is a good way to ward off contraction of the virus, but the obvious best choice is to stay home as much as possible.

"Even if you don't have COVID, you could try vitamin C and zinc. The best thing to do is quarantine," said Wyssmann.

Some individuals believe in a more natural and organic way to fight off illnesses. Cari Mack, a manager at Oasis Health Foods, said the store sells numerous remedies that work to prevent and fight off illnesses.

"We have a lot of different herbal remedies," said Mack. "We have immune builders, lung support, vitamins and minerals. These help both prevent sickness and recover from sickness. Things that stand out to me would be elderberries, vitamin D, zinc and ashwagandha."

Some people can get through COVID-19 without ever showing a symptom, while others may be in a fight for their lives. Taylor Sanchez said that while her case was not severe, she still felt that resting was the best way to tamp down the virus.

"My COVID-19 experience was very mild," said Sanchez. "I never really got sick; I just lost my sense of smell for a few weeks. I just quarantined, watched a lot of TV, and rested. Obviously I was not going outside for any reason and I was staying away from anyone that I could."

Sanchez explained that her boyfriend had contracted COVID-19 at the same time as she did. She said his symptoms were much more serious, and he tried many different remedies.

"He did his best to recover by taking cold medicine, Tylenol, and resting as much as he could," said Sanchez. "We both also took advantage of our time locked away to learn new hobbies and do our best to enjoy ourselves."

While recovering from home is the ideal situation during the pandemic, it is important to know when medical attention is needed. Wyssmann said if breathing becomes difficult at any time, it is critical to seek professional help as soon as possible.

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