COVID-19 News & Updates: Get the latest on vaccine development and more.

David Pong, M.D.

By: David Pong, M.D. on May 20th, 2020

Print/Save as PDF

COVID-19: How Can You Manage Symptoms? When Should You Call Your Doctor?

Medical Perspectives | COVID-19

The symptoms of COVID-19 are well known. Cough, fever, chills, headache, and chest pressure that can lead to shortness of breath. Some people have G.I. issues such as an upset stomach of diarrhea. Some people notice a loss of smell. And we're still learning more. 

But at the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, after you've tested positive, the first step is often to quarantine at home and monitor your symptoms over the following days. How can you best manage those symptoms? And when should you call your doctor for advice? Watch the video below and read on for details. 

How to Treat COVID-19 Symptoms at Home 

A lot of what you can do at home is similar to how you would treat a cold or the flu. Tylenol to help with fever, headaches, and body aches. It is not recommend to use anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil or ibuprofen. 

If you have a sore throat, you can use lozenges.

If you have a runny nose, you can use typical cold remedies.

If you have a cough, you can use things with dextromethorphan, such as Delsym or MucinexDM may help. Honey is a great, natural cough suppressant and could certainly be used. 

When Should You Call Your Doctor for Advice? 

It's important to call your doctor at multiple stages during COVID-19. At PartnerMD, we want our patients to call when they are experiencing symptoms but don't quite know what's going on. We want to help figure out what's going on and give you advice about testing and managing symptoms. 

If you are able to stay at home and manage symptoms, as you would with the flu, we would still encourage you to do that. However, if any symptom is getting out of control, if fever, pain, breathlessness, staying hydrated, staying fed, or care for yourself in your home is being limited, we would want to talk to you so we can coordinate hospital care if that's needed. 

COVID-19 is a fascinating, challenging virus. It has a lot of different manifestations. A lot of it is treating symptoms and staying connected with your provider to get advice about testing, treatment, and potentially hospital care. Otherwise, to try to avoid COVID-19, keep washing your hands, wear a mask, and keep your distance from others. 

Looking for more COVID-19 content? Check out our videos on antibody testing, the value of masks, and more, here.