Pharmacists: Frontline Warriors in the Battle Against Long COVID
As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, a new challenge has emerged: Long COVID. This condition, characterized by lingering symptoms weeks to months after initial infection, is becoming a significant concern for healthcare professionals and patients alike. The role of pharmacists in managing this condition is crucial and multifaceted, ranging from symptom management to patient education and advocacy.
- Long COVID, also known as “Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID19,” “Post-COVID-19 Syndrome,” or “Long Haul COVID,” refers to symptoms that persist for more than 4 weeks after the initial infection.
- Common symptoms include fatigue, cough, “brain fog,” and shortness of breath, but can span multiple organ systems.
- Pharmacists play a key role in managing long COVID, from screening patients and optimizing medication regimens to providing education and guidance on vaccines.
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has committed to investing $1.15 billion over the next 4 years to better understand prevention and treatment of long COVID.
According to a study published in The Lancet, approximately 10% of people who have had COVID-19 experience prolonged symptoms, commonly referred to as long COVID.
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