Could over-the-counter allergy medications treat long-COVID symptoms?

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Researchers have discovered that over-the-counter antihistamines have been shown to greatly reduce the symptoms of long-COVID, according to a study published by the Journal for Nurse Practitioners.

What is long-COVID?: Long-COVID, also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV2 (PASC), is when an individual experiences long-term symptoms of COVID-19 even after the virus has left their body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, persistent cough, chest pain, muscle aches, loss of smell or taste, depression or anxiety, and fever.
  • Currently, there is no treatment for long-COVID. Researchers are working to find ways to alleviate symptoms, according to the University of California, Los Angeles.

What does the new study show?: Two middle-aged women with no preexisting health conditions were chosen to be observed for this short study. Both patients had shown symptoms consistent with long-COVID, starting in 2020.

  • The patients were administered dosages of over-the-counter antihistamines.
  • Following the administration of the drugs, both women reported significant relief from their symptoms, according to the Journal For Nurse Practitioners.
  • Another study displayed that administration of antihistamines improved symptoms in those affected with COVID-19 and resulted in an increased chance of survival from the virus, according to the Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics journal.

What is an antihistamine?: Antihistamines are drugs administered to treat allergy symptoms.

  • During an allergic reaction, the body produces a chemical called histamine. Release of histamine results in common allergic reactions such as swelling, itching and sneezing. The antihistamine works to block the effects of histamine on the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.
  • Although there was no specific brand of antihistamine mentioned in the study, some common over-the-counter include Allegra, Antivert, Benadryl and ZyrTEC.



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