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COVID-19 Information

SARS-CoV2 Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated March 27, 2020

Does Hydroxychlorquine and Zithromax work?

In a small study from France, the use of these two medications together do seem to help shorten the course of COVID-19.  The thing to remember is the study was small and mostly used in patients that were relatively far along in the course of the disease.  The study had several flaws including no controls, not being blinded, and only using data from one area of France.  However, that being said, there is some promise to these two inexpensive medications and there are some doctors in the US, including myself, that are starting to prescribe them to sick patients while waiting for the test results.

As with all medications, there are always pros and  cons.  Plaquanil (also known as hydroxychlorquine) can cause eye problems.  However, this appears to be in patients that have to use the medication for long term treatments.  Further studies are still being done to give us a better idea if this is a good option for current COVID-19 patients.

Does hot weather seem to shorten/decrease COVID-19?

This virus is similar to the 2003 SARS virus and from all the data we collected at that time, weather (specifically heat), didn’t seem to make a big difference.  As we watch the 2019 version of SARS, there may be a better argument that weather and humidity may benefit the virus, BUT it appears that proximity to infected people is much more important than the difference we are seeing from temperature.  Also, as I watch the maps, Countries that are currently experiencing hot weather, are seeing cases and growth of the virus.  It will be interesting to see what their rate of growth is over the upcoming weeks.

Can I take ibuprofen (Aleve/Advil/Motrin) for a fever?

There is not specific data on this question.  I certainly do mind people using Tylenol (acetaminophen) for a fever over ibuprofen. I am personally recommending my patients avoiding NSAIDs like ibuprofen for a fever if you feel sick, but if you have other problems such as long standing joint aches, you don’t have to stop your NSAID worried it will make you more susceptible to the virus.

Should I stop my blood pressure medication?

This version of Coronavirus uses the ACE 2 receptor of the body to get into the lungs, heart, and intestines. The category of medications known as ACE inhibitors (example would be lisinopril) are often used for high blood pressure and diabetes.  These are some of the most prescribed medications in the world so there is a good chance you or someone you know is taking a version of this medication.  Some scientist argue that the medication can be protective since it blocks the receptor, but others have shown that the body up regulates the receptors in the heart and intestines.  Since there is no conclusive data, we are asking each of our patients to do this on a case by case basis.  In general, if you use the medication for blood pressure, I think it is currently better to keep taking the medication, however, if you take the medication for kidney support in diabetes, I think it is a worthy discussion to have with your doctor.

Has the Coronavirus mutated from the original version in China?

Not much.  So if you get it once, you will likely be protected against it.  In rare cases, you will hear about people getting the virus twice but this is not the norm.

Are men more susceptible than women?

Generally speaking the answer is yes.  But this has nothing to do with the way the virus behaves.  Instead, the general health of a men is not as strong as a women AND men tend to be more risky (less likely to follow social distancing, more likely still go to work, more men smoke, etc.) putting them at higher exposure.

- Hydroxychloroquine and Zithromax? - Does hot weather seem to shorten COVID-19? -Can I take ibuprofen? COVID-19 HOME PAGE -Should I stop my blood pressure meds? Stay up to date with Dr. Simmons'  COVID-19 newsletter