COVID-19 and your medicines

Having a long-term condition such as arthritis, high blood pressure, asthma, COPD or diabetes can be challenging. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many New Zealanders who are taking medicines for long-term conditions have questions about their medicines.

Here are some tops tips on COVID-19 and your medicines.

Keep taking your medicines if you are well

If you are taking medicines to manage your long-term condition, and you do not have symptoms of COVID or test positive, continue taking your medicines as usual. Continuing to take your medicines will reduce your risk of flare ups and becoming unwell. Don’t stop or reduce your dose of your regular medicines unless advised to by your doctor. There are no clinical studies showing harm from any medicine use in relation to COVID-19.

  • Ensure you have enough medicine to last a few weeks. Phone or email your GP to get any new prescriptions you may need.
  • If there is a change to your routine, set reminders to take your medicine.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection, contact your doctor immediately

If you develop symptoms or have had a positive test result, it is really important to let your healthcare provider know as soon as possible.

  • They will give you guidance on what should happen for you, including any changes to your medicines, based on your condition/s and the types of symptoms you are experiencing.
  • Treatments such as antivirals to treat COVID 19 infection are available for eligible people with weakened immune systems. They are only useful when given within a few days of the start of your COVID-19 illness. It is important to contact your doctor as soon as you become unwell - they will decide whether you need this treatment.
  • Don’t take herbal, homeopathic or natural remedies, including Chinese medicines without checking with your pharmacist – there are none that are effective against COVID-19.

Learn more

COVID-19 and people with weakened immune systems
COVID-19 positive – care in the community
COVID-19 vaccine third dose for severely immunocompromised people
COVID-19 vaccine booster

Credits: Health Navigator Pharmacists. Reviewed By: Sandra Ponen, BPharm, MPH, Auckland Last reviewed: 17 Jun 2022