Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Treating COVID-19 symptoms at home

4-minute read

If you develop symptoms such as severe shortness of breath or chest pain, call triple zero (000) immediately. Tell the call handler and the paramedics on arrival if you have COVID-19.

How is COVID-19 treated and how do I relieve my symptoms?

Most adults with a mild case of COVID-19 can treat their symptoms in a similar way to how they treat a seasonal flu. That is, rest at home, take paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve pain and fevers, to keep hydrated and take cough medicine if needed.

Adults with severe COVID-19 symptoms may need to be treated in hospital with corticosteroids, antivirals, and other drugs depending on how severe their symptoms are.

CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use the COVID-19 Symptom Checker to find out if you need medical help.

How do I monitor my symptoms?

Most people can manage COVID-19 at home. Those who have mild COVID-19 symptoms may be advised that it is safe for them to manage their symptoms at home, instead of going to hospital.

If you’re managing COVID-19 at home, it’s important to continually monitor your symptoms, or the symptoms of the person you’re caring for.

Learn about how to monitor COVID-19 symptoms at home.

What kinds of medication might I be given for COVID-19?

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved certain medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 in Australia.

Learn more here about COVID-19 medications.

Medicines such as antibiotics, ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine are not effective against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and are not approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in Australia.

When should I seek medical advice?

You should contact your GP if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and you’re pregnant, have any chronic conditions or have any concerns about your health.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has developed a guide for people managing COVID at home. It includes a COVID-19 action plan and a diary that you can use to track your symptoms.

While managing COVID-19 symptoms at home, ask yourself these questions 3 times a day — morning, afternoon and night:

  • Can I get my own food?
  • Can I drink?
  • Can I go to the toilet normally?
  • Can I take my regular medication?

If you answer no to any of these questions, call your GP.

Related topics

Symptoms and when to get help

Symptoms and when to get help

Learn to recognise mild, moderate and severe symptoms of COVID-19, and when to seek medical advice from your GP or another healthcare professional.

How to monitor COVID symptoms with an oximeter

How to monitor symptoms

If you’re able to manage your COVID-19 at home, you might be asked to follow a management plan. Learn how to check your breathing rate, oxygen levels and heart rate.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: February 2022


Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Antiviral treatments for COVID-19

What antiviral medicines are available to treat COVID-19 in Australia? Find out about the new oral antiviral medicines.

Read more on NPS MedicineWise website

COVID-19 treatments | Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

Information and updates on COVID-19 treatments

Read more on TGA – Therapeutic Goods Administration website

Vaccines and COVID-19 - NPS MedicineWise

The development of an effective vaccine for COVID-19 has been a global public health challenge. The race continues to manufacture and distribute vaccines that are effective and safe, and readily available to billions of people.

Read more on NPS MedicineWise website

Is ivermectin a cure for COVID-19?

Ivermectin is being suggested as a possible treatment for COVID-19. We examine the current research about this established antiparasitic medicine.

Read more on NPS MedicineWise website

TGA provisionally approves two oral COVID-19 treatments, molnupiravir (LAGEVRIO) and nirmatrelvir + ritonavir (PAXLOVID) | Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

The TGA has granted provisional approval to two oral COVID-19 treatments.

Read more on TGA – Therapeutic Goods Administration website

TGA grants provisional approval to Gilead Sciences Pty Ltd to extend the use of the COVID-19 treatment, VEKLURY (remdesivir) | Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

The TGA has granted provisional approval to Gilead Sciences Pty Ltd to extend the use of the COVID-19 treatment, VEKLURY (remdesivir).

Read more on TGA – Therapeutic Goods Administration website

Oral COVID-19 medicines

Oral medicines to treat COVID-19 are now available in Australia. Read this factsheet to learn more about these medicines, who can take them and if they are an option for you.

Read more on NPS MedicineWise website

COVID-19 treatments: Information for consumers and health professionals | Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

Find out answers to the common types of questions you may have about how the TGA assesses and monitors a treatment for safety, quality and effectiveness.

Read more on TGA – Therapeutic Goods Administration website

Biological medicines and COVID-19 FAQs - NPS MedicineWise

Biological medicines are being studied for their effectiveness and safety as a treatment for COVID-19. Here’s what we know so far.

Read more on NPS MedicineWise website

COVID-19 vaccines | Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

Information and updates on COVID-19 vaccines

Read more on TGA – Therapeutic Goods Administration website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo