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Researchers and doctors are working to find an effective treatment for the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19. The latest studies have been looking at several existing prescription drugs as a potential treatment. Many of these drugs are affordable and easily accessible.  

It’s important to note that none of these medications have been approved for treatment of COVID-19, and the results of these existing studies are inconclusive. Furthermore, it is imperative to understand that such medications, when used without a prescription and supervision of a healthcare provider, can cause serious health consequences, including death.

Nevertheless, although the study results presented here are for informational purposes only – there is still no cure for COVID-19 – they present opportunity for new (and relatively rapid) avenues of exploration as pharmaceutical companies across the globe pour resources into finding effective treatments for patients showing symptoms of this pandemic.

Hydroxychloroquine

Hydroxychloroquine is currently used to treat and prevent malaria. Recently, French researchers used this drug in a trial of 24 patients. The study found that 90% of the patients who were given a placebo still carried the virus after six days, while only 25% of patients that took hydroxychloroquine still carried the disease.

In the United States, the University of Minnesota started a hydroxychloroquine trial with 1,500 people. The trial is studying whether the drug can be used for prevention or to reduce severity of symptoms.

Chloroquine

Like hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine is used to treat malaria. It is also prescribed for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical trials conducted in China indicate that Chloroquine may be effective and safe for treating COVID-19 associated pneumonia, but this has not been confirmed.

Expanded Access to Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine in the U.S.

President Trump has announced that both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine will be available by prescription “almost immediately.” Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn clarified that the drugs would be available for compassionate use only, which is different from FDA approval.

Compassionate use is mainly for terminally ill patients. However, Hahn said that the FDA would gather data from compassionate use of these drugs to see if they could be an effective treatment for COVID-19.

Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned against using chloroquine phosphate to treat coronavirus in official guidance, after the agency learned that the substance killed one person and left another critically ill. CDC said, “Clinicians and public health officials should discourage the public from misusing non-pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate (a chemical used in home aquariums).”

Have you been prescribed Hydroxychloroquine or Chloroquine?

Lopinavir-ritonavir

Patients in a trial at Jin Yin-Tan Hospital, Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, were given either standard care for COVID-19, or standard care plus the drug lopinavir–ritonavir. Pharmaceutical manufacturer AbbVie donated the medication (which they manufacture under the brand Kaletra). 

The results indicated no benefits to using lopinavir–ritonavir. However, some researchers believe that lopinavir–ritonavir could be more effective if administered earlier on; the participants in the trial had already been symptomatic for two weeks.

Remdesivir

The National Institutes of Health reported that the antiviral remdesivir is being used in a trial of adults hospitalized for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha. It is still too early to tell what, if any, results will come from this trial.

 Related: Getting Your Prescriptions While in COVID-19 Isolation 

Losartan

The University of Minnesota also started a trial of a hypertension drug called losartan to see if it can help prevent organ failure in COVID-19 patients. They are also testing whether it can prevent patients from needing to be hospitalized.

Researchers have looked at losartan because it is an angiotensin receptor 1 (AT1R) blocker. This could potentially block an enzyme COVID-19 uses to bind to cells. 

While there is still no cure or vaccine for novel coronavirus (COVID-19), researchers are working diligently to find a safe, effective treatment. Some of these common prescription medications showed promising potential in clinical trials and studies. Though the results are not conclusive, they give hope that there will soon be a commonly available treatment for COVID-19 (although it is imperative that individuals do not attempt to self-medicate with these, or any other, prescription medications. Rather, all Rx drugs should only ever be taken after consultation with, and following guidance from, a licensed doctor and pharmacist).

Related: What to Know About Coronavirus

ScriptSave WellRx Response to COVID-19

At ScriptSave WellRx, we are committed to helping people access their medications, regardless of insurance coverage. We provide prescription discounts at tens-of-thousands of pharmacies across the United States, and we will continue to do so in the midst of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Patients with or without insurance can read detailed information about the various medications they or their loved ones are prescribed (including details about adverse interactions with other medications and/or lifestyle interactions), without cost or obligation, by visiting the WellRx.com website or mobile app. Furthermore, while using our free tools, all patients can also get an instant second opinion on their out-of-pocket prescription costs, without obligation.

While no medicine has yet been approved as a treatment for COVID-19 at the time of writing this article, staying healthy and keeping your immune system in top shape are important during stressful times. The free Grocery Guidance module within the ScriptSave WellRx mobile app can help.

ScriptSave WellRx Grocery Guidance

Designed to automatically translate the information contained in the nutritional facts panel of most food labels, patients who use ScriptSave WellRx Grocery Guidance can get an immediate assessment of how well their preferred food products align with their desired health outcomes.

The technology in the ScriptSave WellRx mobile app uses peer-reviewed nutritional research and clinical data to connect health conditions (and related nutritional guidelines) to the nutritional product attributes of hundreds-of-thousands of grocery items on sale across the U.S. By doing so, this sophisticated nutrition and wellness tool can help take the guesswork out of reviewing a food label for patients who need to translate the label-data to their own personal health condition.

The mobile app presents users with an easy-to-interpret ‘Food Index’ that shows how well each product aligns with personal nutritional goals, as well as presenting alternative food suggestions for consideration, under a ‘Better-For-You’ heading.

In short, ScriptSave WellRx Grocery Guidance provides universal access to a highly advanced (but simple-to-use) tool that allows any grocery shopper the ability to interpret a standardized food label in a personalized way – instantly.

This puts ScriptSave WellRx in a unique position to provide help to those wanting to get on a path to healthier eating and grocery choices, at a time when staying healthy and keeping the immune system in top shape are more important than ever.



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break a fever - wellrx blog image

Fevers are a part of your body’s natural defense against infections, viruses, and germs. On their own, fevers are typically harmless. In fact, most fevers are beneficial and in most cases it’s unnecessary to try to break the fever

The main reason to treat a fever is to decrease discomfort. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can safely bring a fever down at home. Here are a few ways to safely break a fever at home.

Treating A Fever

If you or your child are experiencing discomfort from a fever, there are a number of safe ways to break it, including: 

  1. Rest: In most cases, a fever is your body’s natural response to an infection or virus. Resting is one of the most important things you can do to help your body recover more quickly. Additionally, physical activity often raises your body temperature. Resting and avoiding activity can help to naturally reduce your body temperature.
  2. Staying hydrated: While staying hydrated is always important, a fever can cause dehydration from fluid loss. It’s important to drink plenty of water when treating a fever.
  3. Staying cool: Taking measures to lower your body temperature is important for breaking a fever. Unless you have chills, remove extra layers of clothing and only cover up with a light blanket or sheet. You can also take a sponge bath using lukewarm water or apply a damp cloth to the forehead, armpit, and groin areas.
  4. Taking an over-the-counter medication: You may try using common over-the-counter medications to reduce your fever. Drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help lower a fever. Acetaminophen can be safely used to treat a fever in children as young as two months old. Aspirin should never be given to children to treat their fever, but is safe to use for adults. 
Related: Will a Z-Pak Help Treat My Cold?

What You Shouldn’t Do To Treat A Fever

There are many touted home remedies for breaking a fever. Some of these remedies are not only unhelpful, but can even be dangerous. Here are a few things you should never try when treating a fever.

  • Take an ice bath: An ice bath may temporarily lower your body temperature but will also cause shivering, which is your body’s natural response to cold, and will actually increase your temperature. Additionally, exposing your skin to very cold temperatures can cause damage.
  • “Starve” a fever: The old saying goes, “feed a cold, starve a fever.” However, this advice should never be followed. While a person with a fever may have less of an appetite, food and nutrients are still necessary to effectively fight the infection.
  • “Sweat out” a fever: Another common tale is that of “sweating out” a fever. While it’s important not to underdress—especially when experiencing chills—overdressing someone with a fever only helps to further raise their body temperature and should be avoided. Ideally, blankets and clothing should be light and breathable, allowing for body heat to escape.

When Is A Fever Dangerous?

Usually, a fever can be treated at home, often without medication. However, a fever can be dangerous, especially for infants. Infants who are under 3 months old with a temperature of more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit must be seen by a physician. Meanwhile, infants between 3 and 6 months with a temperature over 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit should also be seen by a doctor. This is because infants can have serious illnesses that cause fevers which may require testing and proper treatment.

You should see your doctor if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms along with a fever

  • Vomiting or diarrhea lasting longer than 12 hours or contains blood.
  • Sore throat and headache lasting longer than 48 hours.
  • Swollen lymph nodes, glands, or tonsils.
  • An earache lasting longer than 12 hours. 

These may be signs of serious infections of illness that may require treatment by your doctor. 

Additionally, in rare situations, the following symptoms can be signs of life-threatening medical conditions and should be treated as an emergency: 

  • Chest pain and difficulties breathing.
  • Stiffness and pain in your neck when looking down.
  • A burning or sharp pain when urinating and stomach or back pain.
  • Mental confusion and seizures.

If you or a family member are experiencing these symptoms along with a fever, seek medical help right away. 

Related: Tamiflu Benefits and Misconceptions  

Medications to Treat A Fever

Often, over-the-counter medications can safely be used to treat a fever. However, if you see a doctor, they may prescribe additional medications, such as antibiotics, to treat the underlying infection causing your fever. 

When prescribed medications, always take them as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. Never double-up or prematurely discontinue taking the medicine, even if your fever has already lifted. Doing so may be dangerous or prolong the length of your illness. 

If you’re having difficulty paying for your medications, ScriptSave WellRx can help you find discounts on all of your prescription drugs. Use our online price comparison tool to find the lowest price on your Rx medications. Then, show our free pharmacy discount card to save money when picking up your medicine.

Find lower prices on your prescriptions now.




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