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SafeMedicationUse Newsletter

Managing Mild COVID-19 Symptoms at Home


COVID-19 at home

If you or one of your loved ones have mild symptoms of COVID-19, you may be able to recover at home in isolation without needing hospital care. A telephone call or virtual appointment with a doctor, nurse practitioner, family health team member or public health unit will provide you with instructions. This might include advice on treatment, monitoring, isolation/quarantine, and safety precautions for other family members in your home.

You may be able to manage your symptoms with nonprescription medications. Call your pharmacist for advice. Ask about potential interactions between nonprescription medications and other medications you may be taking. Acetaminophen is a nonprescription medication used to reduce fever and treat pain. It is safe and effective, but it can cause dangerous side effects if you take too much. reminds consumers of important safety tips when using acetaminophen:

  • Follow any instructions you receive from your health care provider or the directions on the product label.
  • Avoid taking more than one product that contains acetaminophen at the same time unless you have been advised to do so by your health care provider.
  • Be careful not to take more acetaminophen than the total daily limit. Many products include acetaminophen in combination with other drugs. If you are taking any of these products, you need to keep track of the amount of acetaminophen they contain, as well as any doses of acetaminophen on its own.
  • Read more safety tips for acetaminophen.

Health Canada has tips on how to isolate at home, including supplies to have ready such as a thermometer, hand soap, necessary medications, and a face mask. If you live alone, make sure you stay connected with others. If your symptoms get worse, immediately contact your health care provider or public health help line for advice on what to do.

If you are well, but you're caring for someone with COVID-19 symptoms, Health Canada has advice, including how to protect yourself. Additional recommendations when caring for a child with COVID-19 at home are available.

Medication safety bulletins contribute to Global Patient Safety Alerts

This newsletter was developed in collaboration with Best Medicines Coalition and Patients for Patient Safety Canada.

Recommendations are shared with healthcare providers, through the ISMP Canada Safety Bulletin, so that changes can be made together.

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