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Last updated: 22 March at 10.30am

There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. But many of the symptoms of coronavirus can be treated at home.

Most people who catch coronavirus will experience mild symptoms. They should make a full recovery without needing to go to hospital.

If your symptoms get worse and you feel very unwell you may need to go to hospital.

Caring for yourself at home

About 80% of people can recover from coronavirus at home and without needing to go to hospital.

If you are generally fit and healthy with only mild symptoms of coronavirus, your GP will tell you to self-isolate at home.

The most important thing you can do is to protect others from catching it. It is especially important to protect people in at-risk groups from catching coronavirus.

You should:

  • self-isolate
  • get lots of rest and sleep.
  • drink enough water to avoid dehydration. Your pee should be light yellow or clear
  • eat healthily
  • do not smoke
  • keep warm
  • monitor and treat your symptoms

If your symptoms get worse

Contact your GP if your symptoms don't improve.

If you are in an at-risk group, you should keep a close eye on your symptoms. Contact your GP straight away if they get worse.

If you are concerned about any of your symptoms phone your GP. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Living with self-isolation

For some people self-isolation can be boring or frustrating. It may affect your mood or how you feel. You may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping. You may also feel isolated and alone.

Read more about minding your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.

Caring for someone at home

If you are caring for someone who has coronavirus, support them with home treatment. You should also try to help them prevent the spread of germs. Have the person stay in one room, away from other people, including yourself, as much as possible.

Medicines to treat symptoms

The best medicines to use will depend on your:

  • symptoms
  • other medical conditions
  • any other medication you're taking

Paracetamol or ibuprofen may help to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains. Paracetamol is usually recommended as the first-line treatment for most people.

Before taking any medication, read the full package leaflet that comes with your medicine. Follow any advice a healthcare professional gives you.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics do not work against coronavirus or any viruses. They will not relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.

Coronavirus is a virus and antibiotics cannot treat viruses.

Vaccine

There is currently no vaccine to treat or protect against coronavirus.

The flu vaccine does not protect against coronavirus.

If you are taking medication for other conditions

Take any medication you are already taking as usual, unless you are told not to by a healthcare professional.

There is no evidence that any medication is unsafe if you have coronavirus.

Information on the virus is changing rapidly. We are closely following any updates worldwide.

All information here is accurate and up-to-date. If it changes, we will update this page.

Medicine supplies

There is no disruption to the supply of medicines. There is no need to order more medicines than you need. This will affect the supply of medicines to others.

Prescriptions and collecting medicines

If you have coronavirus or respiratory symptoms, do not attend your pharmacy in person. Phone your pharmacist if you need to order a prescription. Ask a family member to collect any medicines you need.

Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medication

It is okay to take anti-inflammatories (NSAID) if you have coronavirus. There is no evidence that they are unsafe.

Only take one anti-inflammatory medication at a time. It is okay to take paracetamol and an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen at the same time.

Anti-inflammatory medicines include:

  • ibuprofen - brand names: Nurofen, Actiprofen, Advil, Brufen, Brupro, Buplex, Easofen, and Fenopine. Ibuprofen gel can be called Nurofen, Melfen, Phorpain, Ibugel and Ibuleve
  • naproxen – brand name: Naprosyn
  • diclofenac – brand names: Voltarol, Diclo, Diclac, Cataflam, Difene and Flector

High blood pressure medicines

Take your medicine as usual unless you are told not to by a healthcare professional.

This includes ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs).

Stopping these medicines may cause your blood pressure to rise. This may increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

ACE Inhibitors include:

  • ramipril (Ramic, Ramilo, Ramitace, Tritace)
  • perindopril (Coversyl)

Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) include:

  • losartan
  • candesartan
  • olmesartan
  • valsartan

Some combination medicines also include ARBs.

Immunosuppressive medicines

This information is for people who are being cared for by a:

  • rheumatologist
  • dermatologist
  • gastroenterologist

There is no evidence that the medicine you are taking is unsafe during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you stop your medicine you may be more likely to have a flare of your condition during this period.

Immunosuppressive medicines include:

  • biologic agents
  • steroids
  • methotrexate
  • azathioprine

Steroids

Keep taking steroids if you are usually on them unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Stopping steroids suddenly can make you very unwell.

If you become unwell due to coronavirus or another infection, continue to take your steroids.

Never start taking steroids unless your doctor tells you to.

Steroid tablets include prednisolone – brand name: Deltacortril.

Immunosuppressive treatments

If you attend a consultant, ask them if they recommend any changes to your treatment. But do not make changes unless your doctor tells you to.

There is no evidence to-date that being on an immunosuppressive treatment puts you at higher risk of severe disease.

If you usually have regular blood tests, these should continue. But ring your hospital first as some hospital services are disrupted.

If you become unwell due to coronavirus or another infection, phone your GP or consultant. Do this before taking the next dose of your treatments.

The coronavirus pandemic may last several months. If you reduce or stop your medicine you may be more likely to have a flare of your condition during this period. This means you might need to restart your treatment and attend your GP or hospital.

Hospital treatment

14% of people who catch coronavirus will have a more severe illness. If your symptoms get worse and you feel very unwell you may need to go to hospital.

Treatment at hospital for coronavirus may include:

  • medication to reduce a fever
  • oxygen therapy

People who have a hard time breathing on their own due to coronavirus may need a respirator. Life support can be used in extreme cases.