Are there any essential over the counter medicines/tools you would recommend getting for covid?

Asked by Anonymous - 3 weeks ago

Hi, Thank you so much for doing this Q&A session. I was wondering if there were any essential supplies you would recommend for either diagnosing or even treating covid that you can get over the counter? For example I have heard oximeters can be helpful, vitamin D, thermometers etc? Are there certain masks you would recommend over others? Thank you!!

1 Answer

Samira Hassan - 2 weeks ago

Hi

There are no over the counter diagnostic tests available, instead testing via your local GPs, testing centres and the gov.uk website is readily available these days. Regarding essential supplies, there is no necessity as such as there are no treatments / cure but simple analgesia like paracetamol will help with some of the symptoms - pain and fever only. 

Unfortunately none of the "flu" over the counter meds will treat covid - the only aim is to ease some of the symptoms. It is best to stay at home with symptoms, seek medical advice from GPs / 111 if feeling unwell or worse. Thermometers  / pulse oximeters will not change outcomes but often helps patients with managing their anxiety when you see real numbers. 

The best masks are those used in hospital and ITU wards that are FIT-tested FFP3s - all other surgical masks reduce the risk of catching the virus significantly but not to the same level as an FFP3. Studies have shown wearing a mask (even a cloth mask) is far better than none. So please wear whatever you have available and keep away from crowds and try to maintain social distancing.

There are some theories linking Vit D deficiency to worsening outcomes for covid19 but this has not yet been proven. However Vit D is useful for immune function amongst many other things and is important to ensure you take a regular supplement regardless. 

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