Study reveals which over-the-counter drugs might curb severe COVID-19

Until a shortlist of effective immunogens and antigens makes its way to the public, over the counter medicine remains our best shot at mitigating COVID-19 symptoms. Unfortunately, the medical community has been ambivalent about the role of supportive treatment for carriers of SARS-Cov-2 in the past. 

Early on, a study published in The Lancet hypothesized that anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen and high-dose aspirin might contribute to severe and fatal manifestations of the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

Although this submission gained traction with some public officials, notably France’s minister of Solidarity and Health, Olivier Véran, academic reputation followed close behind. 

Here are the measures previously established:

– Tylenol has proven to be a viable fever-reducer in Covid-19 patients

-Staying hydrated and consuming Vitamin C allows our body to optimally combat infection 

-Adding sugar or salt to fluids helps the body absorb water more efficiently 

-Sufficient rest facilitates bio-mechanisms associated with the recovery process

Thanks to a new study conducted by King’s College London we can add a few more considerations to the list above.  

The paper maintains that there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should not be used to treat COVID-19 patients.

Researchers additionally determined that TNF blockers (Humira, Enbrel) and JAK inhibitors (Olumiant, Xeljanz, Rinvoq), are safe for those who have contracted the illness.

“Given the current SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, the availability of reliable information for clinicians and patients is paramount. There have been a number of reports stating that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids may exacerbate symptoms in COVID-19 patients,” the authors wrote in the new paper.  “The existing literature does not currently provide conclusive evidence for or against the use of NSAIDs in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, though there appears to be some evidence that corticosteroids may be beneficial if utilized in the early acute phase of infection.”

Once SARS-Cov-2 is digested by host cells, it replicates Rna and S-proteins throughout the body. As it advances, the pathogen targets lung cellsdamaging hairlike projections that keep our airways clear of mucus and debris. Within weeks, this cycle results in inflammation.

It’s vital for medical professionals to know how anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals interact with SARS-Cov-2 given how many vulnerable populations are currently prescribed. 

Contrary to previous assumptions, Ibuprofen, TNF blockers, JAK inhibitors, and low doses of prednisolone or tacrolimus therapy might actually curb COVID-19’s critical progression in some users.

For the 80% of COVID-19 patients who will endure mild to moderate forms of the disease, most physicians recommend self-medicating like you would a particularly aggressive cold. With a shortage of hospital beds and therapeutics, disproportionately affected regions can’t afford to delay peak transmission.

“Current evidence suggests that low dose prednisolone (a steroid used to treat allergies) and tacrolimus therapy (an immunosuppressive drug given to patients who have had an organ transplant) may have a beneficial impact on the course of coronavirus infections. However further investigation is needed,” Dr. Sophie Papa, a medical oncologist, and immunologist said in reaction to the new paper.

Slowly but surely, professionals are getting closer to locating clinical treatment to give those with underlying conditions the best shot at weathering our global health catastrophe. 

“This pandemic has led to challenging decision-making about the treatment of COVID-19 patients who were already critically unwell. In parallel, doctors across multiple specialties are making clinical decisions about the appropriate continuation of treatments for patients with chronic illnesses requiring immune suppressive medication,” comments study author Dr Mieke Van Hemelrijck, a cancer epidemiologist, in a release.

The new meta-study was published in Ecancermedicalscience, and was derived from 89 previously published papers.