COVID-19 FAQ: What Medicines Should You Take? Dr Mathew Varghese Explains

What medicines to take if you test positive for COVID-19 infection? When should you get hospitalised?

2 min read
COVID-19 FAQ: What Medicines Should You Take? Dr Mathew Varghese Explains

What medicines to take if you test positive for COVID-19 infection? When should you get hospitalised?

Dr Mathew Varghese, public health expert and former director at St. Stephen’s Hospital, New Delhi helps to decode everything you need to know regarding the treatment protocols, amid rise in coronavirus cases.

I have tested positive for COVID-19. What medicines should I take?

There is no specific medicine that should be taken for Omicron variant of COVID-19. Dr Mathew Varghese advises only symptomatic COVID-19 treatment for those who test positive.

  • If you have fever: Take a paracetamol.

  • If you are suffering from severe cold and blocked nose: Take anti-allergic medicines.

  • If you have symptoms such has fever and severe cough with no phlegm: Take cough relief medicines.

If one has cough with white phlegm and no bacterial infection, then there is no need of antibiotics. To get rid of dry cough, gargling with warm water is helpful.

These are all the symptomatic treatments. One must also take rest, hydrate and remain in isolation for at least seven days.


When do I need hospitalisation?

Speaking to The Quint Hindi, Dr Varghese explains that the symptoms with this variant seems to fade after five days. The most persistent symptoms that stay after five days are sore throat and scratchy throat.

Fever in Omicron-positive cases can stay up to three days.

If fever stays for more than five days, Dr Varghese says that one must become cautious.

"Go to a doctor if the fever comes back and check if there is a lung infection or bacterial secondary infection. One can take antibiotics only after consulting the doctor," Dr Varghese says.

Should my family members also take medicines if they have not tested positive?

Experts maintain that only those with symptoms need to be treated.

What role do Monoclonal antibodies play Omicron treatment?

Initial research points that Omicron COVID-19 variant does not affect our lungs like the Delta variant does.

It was observed in South Africa that 99 percent of Omicron infected patients did not have to be admitted in the ICU. Few people were hospitalised but they did not require ICU admission.

"In Delta, we saw due to blood clotting there was a pneumonia type situation, this is not observed in Omicron. Research has shown that the Omicron variant specifically targets the upper respiratory system," Dr Varghese said.

Hence, Monoclonal antibodies are not required to treat Omicron COVID-19, says Dr Varghese.


Is Molnupiravir required to treat this variant?

Dr Varghese said that Molnupiravir antiviral medicine was initially made to treat influenza. However, since it is recorded that Molnupiravir has a "lot of adverse side effects", it is not recommended for routine use.

"Immunocompromised and critical patients can take Molnupiravir, but one should not consider routine use," Dr Varghese pointed out.

When can I end isolation?

According to revised government guidelines, one can end isolation after seven days of quarantine.

(With inputs from FIT)

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