COVID-19 and Medication: What You Need to Know

COVID-19 and Medication: What You Need to Know

TTUHSC El Paso assistant professor Sarah Watkins, D.O., shares a video message with the community.

Viruses and their associated diseases, including COVID-19, aren’t the only things that can make a person sick or at risk for serious complications or death. With the COVID-19 outbreak, questions have emerged about certain medications and whether or not they are safe to take in relation to the virus.

Some of the medications that have come into question are:

  • Ibuprofen.
  • Chloroquine.
  • Hydroxychloroquine.

Ibuprofen is used to reduce fever and relieve minor aches and pain due to the common cold or flu. It is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are medications used to treat malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use in severely ill COVID-19 patients.

In a video addressed to the community, Sarah Watkins, D.O., assistant medical director of the West Texas Regional Poison Center at University Medical Center of El Paso, addresses these medications and their use in connection to COVID-19, as well as associated precautions. Dr. Watkins is an assistant professor in Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso’s Department of Emergency Medicine and is also the assistant director of Clinical Services, Medical Toxicology.

For more information on these medications, or if you suspect poisoning due to chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, call the West Texas Regional Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. This service is free and takes phone calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.