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Treatments

There are no vaccines or specific treatments for COVID-19 yet. But, many clinical trials are underway.
You may have questions about what medications your doctor can prescribe to treat COVID-19. Right now, there are no specific treatments, vaccines or preventative medications for COVID-19. However, researchers are working hard to find treatments that work. 

We don't know what harm existing medications and drugs may cause for people who have COVID-19. We do not recommend any existing drugs to treat COVID-19 in British Columbia, except in clinical trials. 

You can find information about specific medications, drugs and vaccines below. This can help you understand what’s true or false online about COVID-19 treatment. 

Most people with COVID-19 will recover on their own. Please refer to our page for more details on how to manage when you are sick.

Information about specific medications, drugs and vaccines


What treatments are available for COVID-19?

There are no vaccines or specific treatments for COVID-19 yet. But, many clinical trials are underway. We will keep you up-to-date on the results from these trials. To learn more, visit Health Canada’s Clinical Trials List or the Ongoing Clinical Trial Tracker

Will the flu vaccine protect me against COVID-19?

No, influenza (flu) vaccine does not protect against COVID-19. Please visit our prevention and risk page to find ways to protect yourself against COVID-19. 

Are antiviral medications like Tamiflu (oseltamivir) effective for preventing COVID-19?

No. There is currently no medication that is effective for preventing COVID-19. Tamiflu is used to treat and prevent influenza A and influenza B (flu). Coronaviruses like COVID-19 belong to a different family of viruses. There is no evidence that Tamiflu is effective against coronaviruses. 

Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating COVID-19?

No. Antibiotics only work for bacterial infections, not viruses. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Do not take antibiotics to prevent or treat COVID-19. Learn more about antibiotics at www.antibioticwise.ca.

Are there home remedies or complementary treatments to treat COVID-19?

While some home remedies may help with symptoms, there is no evidence that they can prevent or treat COVID-19. 

Are steroids effective in preventing or treating COVID-19?

No. Steroids (like cortisone) do not help in the treatment of COVID-19.  If someone sick with COVID-19 also has asthma, steroids may be prescribed for the asthma. 

Are chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine effective for treating COVID-19?

No. Some initial studies suggested an effect in a test tube only. However, neither drug has been tested in people enough to know if they work outside the lab. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are not recommended for the treatment of COVID-19 except in a clinical trial.

Are antivirals like Remdesivir effective for treating COVID-19?

No. There is very little evidence that it is effective for treating COVID-19. Remdesivir is not recommended for the treatment of COVID-19. 

Are antiretrovirals like Lopinavir/Ritonavir (LPV/r) effective for treating COVID-19?

Antiretrovirals are currently under investigation in clinical trials. There is no evidence yet that LPV/r is effective in treating COVID-19. 

Can high-dose Vitamin C help treat or prevent COVID-19?

No. There is no evidence that taking Vitamin C will help prevent infection with COVID-19. Health Canada says a daily intake of 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women is enough. You should not take more than 200 mg as it can cause side effects including diarrhea and nausea.

Should I stop taking angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) if I have COVID-19?

No. You should not stop taking them because of COVID-19. The Canadian Cardiovascular Society, Hypertension Canada and the American Heart Association all recommend that patients should continue these drugs for managing heart disease or hypertension.  
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