Amid the vaccine roll out, 97,309 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported to the CDC. Peter Staats, M.D. Chief Medical Officer of electroCore, Inc. (Nasdaq: ECOR), outlines common COVID-19 symptoms and at-home steps that can be discussed with health care providers to reduce symptoms.
At-home steps to reduce COVID-19 symptoms:
- Confusion and Brain Fog: Although brain fog is not a true medical condition, it is a common symptom for many COVID-19 patients. Confusion and brain fog can be very frustrating and cause forgetfulness, cognitive decline, memory problems, inability to focus, haziness, and can even make sufferers feel exhausted. While there is no simple treatment for confusion and brain fog, plenty of sleep often is suggested to help promote good brain health. A healthy diet is recommended and encouraged, and when ready, physical activity and memory exercises can help jumpstart brain alertness.
- Migraines: Traditional anti-inflammatory therapies like Advil and Tylenol may be a treatment option for many people. In addition, FDA cleared gammaCore Sapphire™ (nVNS) may be considered for appropriate patients. nVNS has been shown to decrease the pain of a migraine attack and can also prevent attacks from starting. gammaCore Sapphire is a handheld, rechargeable, portable device designed to non-invasively stimulate the vagus nerve. gammaCore Sapphire is cleared for preventive treatment of cluster headache, the acute treatment of pain associated with episodic cluster headache, and the acute and preventive treatment of migraine in adolescent (age 12 and older) and adult patients.
- Cough: According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drinking lots of warm fluids, like tea and broth is a beneficial nonmedical treatment in lessening coughs. Cough drops or hard candies help reduce the urge to cough. OTC cough suppressants like Dextromethorphan can be helpful for some patients as well.
- Trouble Breathing: If you are experiencing new onset shortness of breath it is important to speak with your health care provider as this can be a sign of many types of problems. gammaCore SapphireTM CV (nVNS) received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA in July, 2020 to treat patients with known or suspected COVID-19 who are experiencing aggravation of asthma-related symptoms such as reduced airflow for whom approved drug therapies provide insufficient relief. gammaCore Sapphire CV offers 12 treatments per day for up to 3 months and may help achieve improved airflow. Physicians may choose to prescribe gammaCore Sapphire CV to ease such symptoms while waiting for COVID-19 test results.
- Fever: As the body’s natural response to kill infection, a slight fever is a sign that the body is trying to fight the infection on its own. Low level fevers are generally not a bad thing and can be reduced with Tylenol and Motrin if indicated. Always consult with your healthcare provider if fevers spike past 102 degrees.
- Joint Pain: Persistent joint pain can be a debilitating condition and can affect quality of life, so it is important to consult a medial professional. Anti-inflammatory medications like Advil and Aleve are known to relieve and help reduce joint pain. Exercise is an ongoing way to reduce the pain and strengthen the weakened muscles around joints.
- Inability to Wake or Stay Awake: Exhaustion and sedation are very common problems associated with COVID-19. As the body is fighting the virus, try to avoid exertion by discontinuing even the simplest most mundane tasks. Patients should generally load up on drinks high in electrolytes to replenish fluids and minerals lost while fighting the infection.
- Monitor your Health Post-Infection: Unfortunately, long-haul COVID-19 symptoms are very common, even for people who experienced a mild case initially. If symptoms continue for longer than expected, consult with your health care provider and reference the above tips.
“Remember, continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and avoid large indoor social gatherings even after you’ve been vaccinated,” adds Staats. “Don’t second guess whether your pain is real. Whether COVID-19 is in its early stages or you are a COVID-19 long-hauler experiencing the same or new symptoms, keep in close touch with your healthcare provider.”
The information contained herein is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Never disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency department, or call the emergency services immediately. If you choose to rely on any information provided herein, you do so solely at your own risk.
About electroCore, Inc.
electroCore, Inc. is a commercial stage bioelectronic medicine company dedicated to improving patient outcomes through its platform non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation therapy initially focused on the treatment of multiple conditions in neurology. The company’s current indications are the preventative treatment of cluster headache and migraine and acute treatment of migraine and episodic cluster headache.
For more information, visit www.electrocore.com.
gammaCoreTM (nVNS) is the first non-invasive, hand-held medical therapy applied at the neck as an adjunctive therapy to treat migraine and cluster headache through the utilization of a mild electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve that passes through the skin. Designed as a portable, easy-to-use technology, gammaCore can be self-administered by patients, as needed, without the potential side effects associated with commonly prescribed drugs. When placed on a patient’s neck over the vagus nerve, gammaCore stimulates the nerve’s afferent fibers, which may lead to a reduction of pain in patients.
gammaCore is FDA cleared in the United States for adjunctive use for the preventive treatment of cluster headache in adult patients, the acute treatment of pain associated with episodic cluster headache in adult patients, and the acute and preventive treatment of migraine in adolescent (ages 12 and older) and adult patients. gammaCore is CE-marked in the European Union for the acute and/or prophylactic treatment of primary headache (Migraine, Cluster Headache, Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgias and Hemicrania Continua) and Medication Overuse Headache in adults.
gammaCore is contraindicated for patients with:
- An active implantable medical device, such as a pacemaker, hearing aid implant, or any implanted electronic device
- A metallic device, such as a stent, bone plate, or bone screw, implanted at or near the neck
- An open wound, rash, infection, swelling, cut, sore, drug patch, or surgical scar(s) on the neck at the treatment location
Safety and efficacy of gammaCore have not been evaluated in the following patients:
- Patients diagnosed with narrowing of the arteries (carotid atherosclerosis)
- Patients who have had surgery to cut the vagus nerve in the neck (cervical vagotomy)
- Patients (younger than 12 years)
- Pregnant women
- Patients with clinically significant hypertension, hypotension, bradycardia, or tachycardia
In the United States, the FDA has not cleared gammaCore for the treatment of pneumonia and/or respiratory disorders, such as COVID-19-associated acute respiratory stress disorder. Refer to the gammaCore Instructions for Use for all important warnings and precautions before using or prescribing this product.
The U.S. FDA has cleared the gammaCore Sapphire CV device under an emergency use authorization for acute use at home or in a healthcare setting to treat adult patients with known or suspected COVID-19 who are experiencing an exacerbation of asthma-related dyspnea and reduced airflow, and for whom approved pharmacologic therapies are not tolerated or provide insufficient symptom relief as assessed by their healthcare provider, using noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) on either side of the patient's neck.
gammaCore Sapphire CV has not been cleared or approved for acute use in the home or healthcare setting to treat adult patients with known or suspected COVID-19 who are experiencing an exacerbation of asthma-related dyspnea and reduced airflow, and for whom approved pharmacologic therapies are not tolerated or provide insufficient symptom relief as assessed by their healthcare provider, using noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) on either side of the patient's neck during pandemic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
gammaCore Sapphire CV has been authorized only for the duration of the statement that circumstances exist that warrant authorization of the emergency use of medical devices under section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbbb-3(b)(1), until the authorization is terminated or revoked.
More information can be found at:
Letter of authorization: https://www.fda.gov/media/139967/download
Fact sheet for healthcare workers: https://www.fda.gov/media/139968/download
Patient information sheet: https://www.fda.gov/media/139969/download
Instructions for use of gammaCore https://www.fda.gov/media/139970/download
This press release and other written and oral statements made by representatives of electroCore may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about electroCore's business prospects and clinical and product development plans; its pipeline or potential markets for its technologies; the timing, outcome and impact of regulatory, clinical and commercial developments; including trials for the study of nVNS in COVID-19 patients in Spain, the U.S., or elsewhere, the business, operating or financial impact of such studies; the potential of nVNS generally and gammaCore in particular for the acute and preventative treatment of migraine in adolescence and other statements that are not historical in nature, particularly those that utilize terminology such as "anticipates," "will," "expects," "believes," "intends," other words of similar meaning, derivations of such words and the use of future dates. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others, the ability to raise the additional funding needed to continue to pursue electroCore’s business and product development plans, the inherent uncertainties associated with developing new products or technologies, the ability to commercialize gammaCore™, the potential impact and effects of COVID-19 on the business of electroCore, electroCore’s results of operations and financial performance, and any measures electroCore has and may take in response to COVID-19 and any expectations electroCore may have with respect thereto, competition in the industry in which electroCore operates and overall market conditions. Any forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and electroCore assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements, except as required by law. Investors should consult all of the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factor disclosure set forth in the reports and other documents electroCore files with the SEC available at www.sec.gov.