Immunocompromised: How to Stay Safe Amid COVID-19

COVID-19 has been the leading topic of discussion for months. It has brought fear and concerns to many people, especially those with underlying medical conditions. Patients who are immunocompromised need to take additional safety precautions to avoid catching this illness. 

At Carolina Pharmacy in Charlotte, we take the health and safety of our patients seriously. Our team of pharmacists want to help you understand your medical conditions and medications and strive to keep you safe during this pandemic.

Who is Immunocompromised?

Patients who are considered immunocompromised have weakened immune systems. This reduces the body’s ability to fight infections. With the threat of the coronavirus, a healthy immune system is important for fighting the illness.

At-Risk Patients

When it comes to COVID-19, immunocompromised patients are high risk. This means at-risk patients have a greater chance of developing complications or having a more severe response to the coronavirus. 

Patients who are at a higher risk for COVID-19 may have the following conditions or diseases:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Lung disease
  • Immune deficiencies 
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Use of oral or intravenous corticosteroids

Additionally, people over 65 are considered high risk. Smokers are also at risk of developing complications or a severe case of COVID-19.

Autoimmune Medications and COVID-19

There has been some confusion and discrepancy about the use of the autoimmune medication, hydroxychloroquine, to treat patients with COVID-19. The medication is used to treat or to prevent malaria and to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. 

When COVID-19 first struck, doctors from various countries started to study the effectiveness of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine at treating the illness. The FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization allowing the use of the medications to treat patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

FDA Warning Regarding Hydroxychloroquine

Due to concerns over the potential side effects, including irregular heartbeat, use of the medication outside of a hospital or under direct supervision of a doctor was not recommended. However, concerns were raised over the inappropriate use of the drug outside of medical supervision. 

The FDA has since revoked the EUA for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in treating coronavirus patients. The results of their clinical trial show that the medication does not speed recovery or show improved healing for the coronavirus.

Tips to Stay Safe During COVID-19

Even if you are not considered high risk, taking additional precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic can help protect you, your loved ones, and the at-risk patients around you. To keep yourself and others safe, consider the following safety measures:

  • Wear a mask or facial covering. You can buy them at any of our Carolina Pharmacy locations!
  • Wash your hands regularly and especially after going out in public or after coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay home. 
  • Practice social distancing and avoid large crowds of people.

How to Safely Get Your Medications from Carolina Pharmacy

At Carolina Pharmacy, we strive to keep our patients safe and healthy. We have taken additional precautions to protect your health and wellness while still dispensing your medications. 

Depending on your pharmacy location, curbside and drive through services are available. We also offer services that allow you to easily refill or transfer your prescriptions. You can even refill prescriptions from our convenient app!

If you are immunocompromised and in need of your medication, Carolina Pharmacy takes your health seriously. Contact us for help managing your prescriptions during this pandemic and beyond.