Medications for COVID-19 Treatment Version en Español While vaccines provide the best protection from COVID-19, treatment options such as Monoclonal Antibodies are available if you have had symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days or less or have been exposed to COVID-19. If taken early, they can reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Ask your doctor about Monoclonal Antibodies or call the Combat COVID Monoclonal Antibodies Call Center at 1-877-332-6585 (English) or 1-877-366-0310 (Spanish). Treatments used for COVID-19 should be prescribed by your health care provider. People have been seriously harmed or even died after taking products not approved for treatment of COVID-19, including products approved or prescribed for other uses. Treatment Outside of the Hospital Your health care provider may recommend the following to relieve symptoms: Take pain and fever medications, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen (caution: do not give aspirin to children). Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Stay home and get plenty of rest to help your body fight the virus. Follow instructions from your local health department and health care provider for appropriate care. If you are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19: Your healthcare provider might recommend that you receive investigational treatment. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow the use of monoclonal antibody therapies for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in certain high-risk patients. Some people who have been exposed to COVID-19 may qualify for treatment even before testing positive for COVID-19. This treatment is not a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19. Monoclonal antibody treatment must be administered early in order to work. Learn more about Monoclonal Antibody Treatment for COVID-19. Treatment in the Hospital For patients with more severe COVID-19, hospitals can provide care. Veklury® (Remdesivir) is FDA approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients 12 years of age and older who weigh at least 88 pounds. Additional Medications and Treatments Under Investigation Additional medications and treatments for COVID-19 are being investigated, including through clinical trials in North Carolina and across the nation. A clinical trial is a type of research study used to test if a drug or medical device is both safe and effective for human use. Registered trials for drugs being studied for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov. To find clinical trials happening specifically in NC, you may specify your search through ClinicalTrials.gov by location. Additionally, many academic medical centers update clinical trials occurring at their institutions on their respective websites. Frequently Asked Questions What treatments are available? If you have had symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days or less or have been exposed to COVID-19, treatment options such as monoclonal antibodies are available. If received early, monoclonal antibodies may reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Ask your doctor about treatment with monoclonal antibodies or call the Combat COVID Monoclonal Antibodies Call Center at 1-877-332-6585 (English) or 1-877-366-0310 (Spanish). For patients with more severe COVID-19, hospitals can provide care. Veklury® (Remdesivir) is FDA approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients 12 years of age and older who weigh at least 88 pounds. There is more to be learned about COVID-19 as the situation continues to evolve, and treatment options may change over time. Learn more from the CDC. For additional guidance on current approved treatments for COVID-19, visit Infectious Diseases Society of America's Guidelines on the Treatment and Management of Patients with COVID-19 webpage. Is a vaccine available? Yes. Three vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) have proven to provide significant protection against COVID-19 and protect against virus-related hospitalization and death, with no serious safety concerns in the clinical trials. Visit the webpage on vaccines for the latest information. What is hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and does it treat COVID-19? Hydroxychloroquine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as treat or prevent malaria. On June 15, 2020, the FDA revoked the emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate to treat COVID-19. Therefore, hydroxychloroquine is not authorized or approved by the FDA for prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Due to ongoing serious cardiac adverse events and other serious side effects associated with using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, the FDA revoked emergency use authorization of for the drug. Read the press release. What is Ivermectin and does it treat COVID-19? Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug that is used to treat river blindness and intestinal roundworm infection in humans, and to de-worm pets and livestock. It is generally safe when used as prescribed for approved indications. Using Ivermectin off label or without the guidance of a medical provider can carry substantial risks of poor outcomes for the patient. Ivermectin is not authorized or approved by the FDA for prevention or treatment of COVID-19. During the pandemic, ivermectin dispensing by retail pharmacies has increased, as has use of veterinary formulations available over the counter but not intended for human use. The FDA has cautioned about the potential risks of use for prevention or treatment of COVID-19, with significant increase of calls to poison control centers across the U.S. for human exposures to Ivermectin, as well as reports of increased frequency of adverse effects and emergency department/hospital visits. Read the CDC Health Advisory to learn more. What other medications are being tested to treat COVID-19? Many medications are being tested to treat or prevent COVID-19, only Veklury® (Remdesivir) is FDA approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients 12 years of age and older who weigh at least 88 pounds. The FDA has issued emergency use authorizations for a number of investigational monoclonal antibodies that can attach to parts of the virus to help your immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus. An oral pill for treatment of adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 is under review by the FDA and could receive emergency use authorization later in 2021. After authorization, limited amounts will be available by prescription only. Clinical trials show the pill is effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization in adults who are sick with COVID-19 if taken early – within five days of symptom onset. Treatments for COVID-19 are not a replacement for safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccination provides the best protection from COVID-19 and hospitalization and death from the virus. Many of the medications in testing for COVID-19 are FDA approved to treat serious diseases, such as tuberculosis, HIV infection and autoimmune conditions. It is important that those medications remain available to treat the conditions for which they are FDA approved as their effectiveness for COVID-19 is being assessed. Learn more from the CDC. Are veterinary medications safe to consume? No. People should not take any medications unless they are FDA approved for human consumption and prescribed by their doctor. The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council issued a statement reminding everyone “they should never use pet care products, or any products, for any purpose other than what the label directs.” Is there a definition of recovery from COVID-19? What is long COVID? As with other respiratory illnesses, how long a patient takes to return to feeling “normal” is highly variable and depends on many factors including severity of illness and underlying medical conditions, so a single time period cannot be applied to all people. For most people who test positive for COVID-19 but do not have a case severe enough to warrant hospitalization, NCDHHS estimates a median recovery time of 14 days. In non-fatal cases that require hospitalization, the estimated median recovery time is 28 days. View the COVID-19 Patients Presumed to be Recovered Report. Although most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people experience post-COVID conditions, or long COVID. People with long COVID can experience new, returning or ongoing health problems four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Even people who did not have COVID-19 symptoms in the days or weeks after they were infected can have post-COVID conditions. There are post-COVID recovery clinics in North Carolina to serve people with long COVID; some require referrals from primary care physicians. CDC Post-COVID Conditions If I've had symptoms of COVID-19, when can I end self-isolation? It is important to understand the steps to ending self-isolation. Patients who have mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and can recover at home can return to normal activities when they can answer yes to the following three questions: Has it been at least 10 days since your symptoms started? Has it been 24 hours since you last had fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications? Have your symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath, improved? Notably, patients with clinical COVID-19 infection, in general, do NOT need a negative COVID-19 test result to document recovery, if they meet the clinical criteria. Read the CDC What to do if you are sick and the CDC guidance for ending isolation for more information.