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There have been a number of questions in the last few days regarding information about the need for medications for some patients. Please see below a post written by one of our GPs, and we hope this answers some of your questions.
Medications in Coronavirus – Myths and Facts
Reliever inhalers (blue – eg Salbutamol, Ventolin)
If you have asthma it certainly makes sense to make sure you have one handy but please don’t stockpile. Do however request one if yours is out of date or running low. Taking your blue inhaler will not treat coronavirus symptoms.
Preventer inhalers (brown, pink, purple etc)
If you’re already on these please continue taking as normal. If you don’t currently take one but you think your asthma is poorly controlled, then it may be appropriate to start one after speaking with the surgery. Starting one when your asthma is currently well-controlled will not prevent you catching or becoming unwell from Coronavirus.
Antibiotics and steroid tablets
Antibiotics do not work against Coronavirus, or indeed any viruses. Steroid tablets do not fight coronavirus, and there is also the risk that they make worsen it. They have an important role to play in flares of asthma or COPD, following an assessment. Therefore if you feel these are needed due to your symptoms, please contact the surgery. Those patients who require standby antibiotics or steroids, for various reasons, will already have these after discussions at their routine reviews, or on specialist advice.
Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatories.
Some experts are recommending that if you have suspected coronavirus then you should not use these medications. Paracetamol is safe to use and therefore this is what we would advise.
At the moment, GPs are being told by the NHS that we should NOT increase the amount of regular medications we hand out. If this advice changes as coronavirus cases increase, we will automatically increase everyone’s supply. Please consider that by not ordering more medication than you need, you may risk causing shortages for others.