COVID-19: guidelines for pharmacists in South Africa

  • N Schellack Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
  • M Coetzee Mediclinic Southern Africa
  • G Schellack
  • M Gijzelaar Life Healthcare
  • Z Hassim Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital
  • M Miln Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
  • E Bronkhorst Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
  • N Padayachee University of the Witwatersrand
  • N Singh Netcare Limited
  • S Kolman University of the Witwatersrand
  • A L Gray University of KwaZulu-Natal
Keywords: novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), corona virus disease, pandemic, COVID-19, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, spill-over, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine

Abstract

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, and its declaration as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), the reliance on pharmacists as one of the first points of contact within the healthcare system has been highlighted. This evidence-based review is aimed at providing guidance for pharmacists in community, hospital and other settings in South Africa, on the management of patients with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19. The situation is rapidly evolving, and new evidence continues to emerge on a daily basis. This guidance document takes into account and includes newly available evidence and recommendations, particularly around the following aspects relating to COVID-19:

  • Epidemiology
  • The virus, its modes of transmission and incubation period
  • Symptom identification, including the differentiation between influenza, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis and COVID-19
  • Social media myths and misinformation
  • Treatment guidelines and medicines that may need to be kept in stock
  • Treatment and prevention options, including an update on vaccine development
  • The case for and against the use of NSAIDs, ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) in patients with COVID-19
  • Interventions and patient counselling by the pharmacist.

It is critical, though, that pharmacists access the most recent and authoritative information to guide their practice. Key websites that can be relied upon are:

  • World Health Organization (WHO): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel- coronavirus-2019
  • National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD): https://www.nicd.ac.za/diseases- a-z-index/covid-19/
  • National Department of Health (NDoH): http://www.health.gov.za/index.php/ outbreaks/145-corona-virus-outbreak/465-corona-virusoutbreak; https://sacoronavirus. co.za/

Author Biographies

N Schellack, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa

M Coetzee, Mediclinic Southern Africa

Pharmacy Services, Mediclinic Southern Africa, South Africa

G Schellack

Pharmaceutical Industry, South Africa

M Gijzelaar, Life Healthcare

Pharmacy Practice Department, Life Healthcare, South Africa

Z Hassim, Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital

Pharmacy Department, Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital, South Africa

M Miln, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa

E Bronkhorst, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa

N Padayachee, University of the Witwatersrand

Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

N Singh, Netcare Limited

Clinical Pharmacy Services, Netcare Limited, South Africa

S Kolman, University of the Witwatersrand

Pharmacy, Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and Department of Pharmacy, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

A L Gray, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Division of Pharmacology, Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Published
2020-07-08
Section
Guideline