What To Do if You Have Fever/Body Aches and COVID-19

Published: July 11, 2022
Mary Ann Kliethermes
By Mary Ann Kliethermes, PharmD

COVID-19 commonly causes body and muscle aches, as well as a fever. A fever occurs when your body acts to fight the infection. A fever often makes you feel tired and uncomfortable. At this time, there are no medications that cure the COVID-19 infection. However, there are things you can do to feel better.

To treat fever and body/muscle aches caused by COVID-19, focus on:

  1. Get plenty of rest to help your body get the energy it needs to fight the infection.

     

  2. Drink lots of fluids to maintain proper hydration and help replace the water lost through sweating, which often accompanies a fever.

     

  3. Take over-the-counter (OTC) medications
  • Acetaminophen
    • OTC medications can lower your fever and improve discomfort. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the preferred medication. The adult dose of acetaminophen is 650 mg every 4 to 6 hours. The total daily dose should not exceed 3250 mg in 24 hours because higher amounts may damage your liver. Many OTC combination products also contain acetaminophen.
    • Do not use additional acetaminophen for fever and body aches if you are using a combination product with acetaminophen.
    • Acetaminophen is given to children in a liquid form based on their weight. Be sure to measure liquid products with an oral syringe, not a household teaspoon, and read the medication’s label to determine the correct dose.

     

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
    • NSAIDS will help with pain and discomfort, lower your fever, and reduce inflammation. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and Naproxen (Aleve) are examples of NSAIDs.
    • Avoid NSAIDs if you have stomach ulcers or stomach-related bleeding or that take a blood-thinning or steroid drug to reduce the risk of stomach bleeding.
    • NSAIDS may also negatively affect how kidneys work; older adults are more likely to experience these complications.

A pharmacist’s tips

  • Carefully read the drug facts label for each medication, including OTC pain relievers, to identify the ingredients in the product. This is especially important when purchasing combination cough and cold medications to avoid accidentally taking too much of a medication such as acetaminophen.
  • Talk to your pharmacist or another healthcare provider if you have any questions about your medications.
  • If you or a loved one is experiencing trouble breathing, pressure in your chest, or new confusion, call 911 for immediate medical attention.

Click here for ways to treat other COVID-19 symptoms such as dry cough, sore throat, tiredness, sudden loss of taste or smell, and nasal congestion.

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