Massachusetts Medical Society: Treatment, Prescribing

Treatment, Prescribing

How do I treat patients with confirmed COVID-19?
A NIH panel of U.S. physicians, statisticians, and other experts has developed COVID-19 treatment guidelines. These guidelines, intended for healthcare providers, are based on published and preliminary data and the clinical expertise of the panelists, many of whom are frontline clinicians caring for patients during the rapidly evolving pandemic. The guidelines will be updated often as new data are published in peer-reviewed scientific literature and other authoritative information emerges. The CDC Clinical Care Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19) web page provides clinical care guidance for healthcare professionals about COVID-19, including for home care, ending home isolation, and by patient type.

Is there any data to support the COVID-19 therapies?
There is currently no U.S. FDA approved drugs for treatment of patients with COVID-19. Clinical management involves infection prevention (isolation) and supportive care such as supplementary oxygen and mechanical ventilation when needed. Early mechanical ventilation appears to be helpful. Information for Clinicians on Investigational Therapeutics for Patients with COVID-19 will be updated as new information emerges and drugs and other therapeutic interventions are approved for use by FDA.

Is there guidance regarding prescribing during remote/telemedicine practice?
Yes, MMS has put together Frequently Asked Questions: Prescribing During Remote/Telemedicine Practice that answers key questions regarding remote prescribing.

Who is considered to be at high risk for infection with COVID-19?

People aged 65 years and older, people in a nursing home or long-term care facility. people with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, people who have serious heart conditions and people who are immunocompromised are considered to be at high risk.  Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications. The CDC has specific recommendations for people at risk for serious illness, including COVID-19 infection.

Are there specific COVID-19 recommendations for cancer patients?
Doctors and health officials agree the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, which is especially important for cancer patients because they are at higher risk for serious illness. The American Cancer Society offers a number of resources and has a list of frequently asked questions for cancer patients.


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