Guidance for healthcare providers on newest guidelines for over-the-counter drug treatment of mild symptoms of COVID-19.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The American journal of medicine




cardiovascular; gastrointestinal; guidance; guidelines; over the counter drugs; treatment, mild symptoms, COVID-19


On January 18, 2024, the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) + issued their most recent guidelines for over-the-counter drugs for COVID-19. Specifically the CDC stated that "Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home. You can treat symptoms with over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), to help you feel better." In this Review we consider the contributions of different types of evidence and conclude that healthcare providers should make individual clinical judgments for each of his or her patients in the selection of over-the-counter drugs to treat symptoms of COVID-19. This judgement should be based on the entire benefit to risk profile of the patient. It is our belief that the individual health care provider knows far more about each of his or her patients than anyone, including expert members of guideline committees. Their astute and judicious individual clinical decision making for each individual patient based on all these considerations has the potential to do far more good than harm.