Pharmacists urge caution about potential drugs to treat COVID-19

Cropped Photo: Texas Tech University / MGN
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(WAFB) -- There has been a lot of talk lately about certain drugs helping to fight COVID-19. President Donald Trump has even gone as far as talking about them, but there’s a problem. Doctors say we don’t actually know if they work or not.

Patrick Brian and his pharmacy staff have become counselors in some ways, calming the fears of customers.

“We’re doing everything we have to do to take care of our customers and make sure everybody stays well," said Brian, pharmacy manager. “Just making comments about the craziness of it. You get used to it, just to, it’s kind of scary and also to be able to try to have a little bit of levity with them to not be so serious about it.”

When President Trump mentioned drugs commonly used for treating malaria to right coronavirus, pharmacies like James Drug Store in Denham Springs were inundated with questions.

“None of these medications qualify as good science. What they do qualify as is antidotes, antidotes of hope," said Dr. Thomas.

But as far as a cure, Dr. Thomas with Our Lady of the Lake says there’s nothing at this time.

“We can go through a host of medications that have been looked at ranging from hydroxychloroquine to chloroquine, to medicines for flu, all the way over to medicines we use to treat HIV and at current state, none of them have any high evidence," the doctor said.

He says what could happen if you take these medications is they could cause more harm than good. He recommends sticking with the basics if you’re showing symptoms.

“If you need something, I think a dose of Tylenol is appropriate. It’s hard for us to recommend for or against NSAIDs if we’re being honest in the literature, so I really think it’s just routine, standard of care and if your grandma had a really good thing of chicken soup right now, it’s probably as good as anything else that’ll make you feel better," Dr. Thomas said.

The most important thing you can do is stay inside and not rush to the pharmacy.

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