Treating COVID-19 At Home

Updated January 8, 2022

In general, most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home. If you've tested positive for COVID-19 or you're experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, talk to your health care provider, contact your local Public Health Center or call the State's COVID Helpline at 907-646-3322 to learn about possible treatment options.

Below are COVID-19 treatments that health care providers might recommend.

On this page:

Basic treatment

  • Get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible if you haven't already been tested.
    • A positive test result enables your health care provider to offer more treatment options, like monoclonal antibodies or antiviral medications.
  • If you're unvaccinated and/or at higher risk for severe COVID-19, talk to a health care provider as soon as possible.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Stay well hydrated.
  • Take over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), to reduce symptoms.
    • Be sure to follow directions and keep track of all the ingredients and the doses. For acetaminophen, the total daily dose from all products should not exceed 3,000 mg.
  • Rest in the prone position (flat on your stomach) for easier breathing. Engage in light physical activity, such as walking, that you can comfortably tolerate.
  • Monitor your symptoms, and get emergency medical care immediately for emergency warning signs.

Therapeutics

COVID-19 therapeutics are treatments that help your body fight off viruses that cause disease. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized several therapeutics to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in certain people.

Things to know about COVID-19 therapeutics:

  • Supply could be very limited.
  • They are available by prescription only.
  • Timing is important: therapeutics should be given quickly after symptom onset.
  • Patients must test positive for COVID-19 on a diagnostic test to have access.
  • The test can be PCR/molecular or antigen, and it must be verified by a healthcare provider.

Talk to your health care provider or call the State’s COVID Helpline at 907-646-3322 to learn more.

Paxlovid (Pfizer)

Paxlovid is an oral antiviral drug for patients who are at least 12 years old and weigh at least 40 kilograms (roughly 88 lbs). Paxlovid consists of nirmatrelvir, a drug that stops the coronavirus from replicating, and ritonavir, which helps nirmatrelvir stay in the body longer and at higher concentrations. Patients take two tablets of nirmatrelvir and one tablet of ritonavir twice daily for five days. The first doses should be taken within five days of symptom onset.

Sotrovimab (GlaxoSmithKline)

Sotrovimab is a monoclonal antibody product for patients who are at least 12 years old and weigh at least 40 kilograms (roughly 88 lbs). Monoclonal antibodies act as substitute antibodies for people whose immune systems might not produce enough natural antibodies. Sotrovimab is administered as a single dose by IV infusion. This treatment should be given within 10 days of symptom onset.

Remdesivir (Gilead Veklury)

Remdesivir is an antiviral drug for patients who are at least 12 years old and weigh at least 40 kilograms (roughly 88 lbs). Remdesivir is currently FDA-approved for hospitalized patients, but providers can elect to use it as an outpatient treatment. Unlike oral antivirals Paxlovid and molnupiravir, remdesivir must be administered by IV infusion. Doses are administered over three days, starting within seven days of symptom onset.

Molnupiravir (Merck)

Molnupiravir is an oral antiviral drug for patients 18 or older, and it is only given as a last resort when other COVID-19 treatment options are not accessible or clinically appropriate. Molnupiravir works by interfering with the genetic code of the virus and inhibiting its ability to replicate. Patients take four capsules every 12 hours for five days. The first doses should be taken within five days of symptom onset.

Your health care provider can help you determine which treatments are right for you depending on your medical history, risks, and symptoms. If you do not have a health care provider, you can call the State’s COVID Helpline at 907-646-3322 for more information.

Before infection

Tixagevimab plus cilgavimab (AstraZeneca) is an FDA-authorized monoclonal antibody product given to certain immunocompromised people before they're exposed to COVID-19. This product is given by injection and helps prevent severe COVID-19 for up to six months. To be eligible, an individual must have a moderately to severely compromised immune system or have a history of severe adverse reactions to a COVID-19 vaccine or ingredients in those vaccines. Individuals must be 12 or older and weigh at least 40 kilograms (roughly 88 pounds). Talk to your health care provider or call the State’s COVID Helpline at 907-646-3322 to learn more.

Treatments for hospitalized patients

Learn more about COVID-19 treatments for hospitalized patients.

Other treatments

Researchers continue to explore new COVID-19 treatments and study existing drugs that are already approved for other health conditions as possible treatments for COVID-19. When more is known about the safety and effectiveness of certain treatments, recommendations for how and whether to use them are updated.

Sometimes there is not enough data available for the FDA to authorize, or medical professional organizations to recommend, a possible treatment, or the drug has not been shown safe and effective in treating COVID-19, as is the case with ivermectin. Some drugs that the FDA previously had authorized for treating COVID-19, such as hydroxychloroquine, are no longer recommended as data suggests the risks of using it to treat COVID-19 outweigh any potential benefits.

For other treatments, such as convalescent plasma, their emergency authorizations have been revised to recommend more limited use.

The FDA continues to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of hundreds of potential COVID-19 treatments. As new data emerges, recommendations will change.

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