Common OTC Antihistamines Such As Diphenhydramine Can Help Alleviate Certain Long COVID Symptoms

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A new study by researchers from University of California-Irvine has shown that common over the counter (OTC) antihistamines such as diphenhydramine can help alleviate certain long COVID symptoms.

The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: the Journal for Nurse Practitioners. https://www.npjournal.org/article/S1555-4155(21)00547-X/fulltext

SARS-CoV-2 binds to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors abundantly expressed throughout the body, resulting in cellular infection with inflammation and activation of the endothelium.8 As a result, SARS-CoV-2 may affect any organ system.

This may be a critical factor in the heterogeneity of PASC signs and symptoms. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are thus likely to see significant variability in PASC symptoms among affected patients, and the trajectory for symptom resolution is unknown.

For this reason, NPs can perhaps best support recovery by validating patient experiences and symptom presentations, even in those with negative results on serologic or polymerase chain reaction testing.14, 15

The earliest patients with PASC may not have had access to SARS-CoV-2 confirmatory testing, owing to the lack of reliable and valid testing at the beginning of the US pandemic.16

As a result, some patients with PASC have been dismissed or ignored by medical providers.15 This can leave such patients feeling disempowered and devalued, adversely affecting both well-being and willingness to attend future medical appointments.17

Providers should therefore familiarize themselves with the emerging spectrum of PASC symptoms and provide nonjudgmental and supportive care.

Finally, as understanding of PASC is just beginning to emerge, it is critical that NPs and other providers not conflate its effects with other ill-defined conditions such as myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic Lyme disease in the absence of adequate scientific evidence.

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