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HomeYour HealthManaging Your HealthDr KrishanThe Dixie and Dr Krishan Podcast: Episode 6 – Antiviral MedicationThe Dixie and Dr Krishan Podcast

Episode 6 – Antiviral Medication

Published: Nov 20, 2023
Authored by Dr. Krishan

In an era where information is readily available at our fingertips, staying informed about healthcare choices has become increasingly important. Dixie Crawford and Dr. Krishan have joined forces to host an engaging 7-part podcast series to talk all things healthcare, wellbeing and wellness. Information provided in this episode is intended as a guide only and does not replace advice provided by your healthcare professional.

Get to know your hosts:

Dixie CrawfordDixie is a proud Barkindji woman from Brewarrina (in north-west NSW, Australia) lives on Ngunnawal country. She is the Founder and Managing Director of First Nations community engagement consultancy, Nganya.Dr. Krishan ThiruDr. Krishan is a proud dad, husband, and soccer coach at his children’s local primary school. He has a background in hospital medicine and community health, with experience in general practice and working with Aboriginal communities. Dr. Krishan is passionate about patient-centered care and empowering individuals to take control of their health. He is also the Medical Director for Pfizer Australia and New Zealand. 

These podcasts are frank and open conversations intended to help inform and empower First Nations people and the community with facts and information about everyday health concerns, like how to talk to your doctor about your health questions, and the health checks we need at every stage of life. Information provided in this podcast is intended as a guide only and does not replace advice provided by your health worker.

In this episode, Dixie and Dr. Krishan discuss antiviral medication and its relevance to COVID-19. They explain that antivirals are medications used to treat viral infections – just like how antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. Antivirals work by slowing down the multiplication of the virus in the body which helps the immune system fight off the infection.1

Dixie and Dr. Krishan emphasise the importance of taking antivirals early, within the first few days of symptoms, to reduce severe COVID-19 illness. Vulnerable people including those living with underlying health conditions, can proactively have a conversation with their health worker to know what steps to take if they test positive for COVID-19.2 

Key Takeaways:

  1. Antiviral medications have been around a long time and have been used to treat other viral infections like Hepatitis, HIV, and flu, and now COVID-19.1  
  2. Antivirals slow down the multiplication of the virus in the body, helping the immune system fight off the infection.1
  3. Taking antivirals early, within the first five days of symptoms to reduce severe COVID-19 illness.3
  4. To access antiviral medications, individuals need to test positive for COVID-19 and consult with their healthcare professional on eligibility.
  5. Like all other medications, antivirals can cause side effects. However, these can be managed by discussing with your healthcare professionals.3
  6. Vulnerable individuals should proactively discuss COVID-19 treatment with their health worker for COVID-19 treatment, in case they test positive to COVID. 
  7. If you have COVID-19 symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat or fever, do a rapid antigen test (RAT). Your doctor may also suggest a PCR test if needed.

“Proactive COVID planning with your healthcare professional is important, especially if you're in a vulnerable group.”

Dr. Krishan Thiru

References

  1. Antivirals, Cleveland Clinic, 2023. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/21531-antivirals. Accessed: 05/09/23 
  2. Updated eligibility for oral COVID-19 treatments, Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. 2023. Available from: https://www.health.gov.au/health-alerts/covid-19/treatments/eligibility. Accessed: 05/09/23
  3. COVID-19 medications and antivirals, Health Direct. 2023. Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/covid-19/medications. Accessed: 05/09/23

External Resources

- Visit Nganya and learn more about initiatives and work from Dixie and her team https://nganya.com.au/

-Check out the COVID-19 resources from the National Indigenous Australians Agency: https://www.niaa.gov.au/covid-19

-Dive into the Australian Government’s resource collection: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/annual-health-check-for-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-people-resource-collection?language=en 

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