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Treat COVID-19 symptoms at home

There is no specific treatment for COVID-19 (coronavirus). But many of the symptoms of COVID-19 can be treated at home. About 80% of people can recover at home and without needing to go to hospital.

The vaccines will be delivered in stages so it will take time to vaccinate the population. Read more about the COVID-19 vaccine.

If you develop symptoms, you should self-isolate to stop the spread of COVID-19. Phone your GP or GP out-of-hours straightaway to discuss your symptoms and whether you need a test for COVID-19.

The most important thing you can do is to protect others from catching COVID-19. It is especially important to protect people at higher risk from COVID-19.

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
  • avoid smoking
  • keep warm
  • monitor and treat your symptoms

Read more about symptoms of:

If your symptoms get worse

Phone your GP if your symptoms do not improve.

If you are over the age of 60 or have a condition that puts you at higher risk from COVID-19, keep a close eye on your symptoms. Phone your GP straight away if they get worse.

When to get medical help if you need it

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 of 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 COVID-19 or any viruses. They will not relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.

COVID-19 is a virus and antibiotics cannot treat viruses.

Ibuprofen

It is okay to take ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatories (NSAID) if you have COVID-19. 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 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

Related topic

Minding your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

Last updated: 23 December 2020 at 5.20pm

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