Dr. Paul Marik of Eastern Virginia Medical School has something to say about COVID treatment, is qualified to say it, and knows that now is not the time to hold back. He has released a series of recommendations, from what we can take before getting sick – prophylactically – through critical care ICU protocols and convalescent therapies. This article will focus on his prophylactic recommendations, which are:
The beauty of this list is that a person can take it to their pharmacist, who should have no problem filling the order, today. BID means take it twice a day. There is more than one type of vitamin D; Dr. Marik is specific that he recommends D3.
Here are my suggestions:
- Since fish are a source of vitamin D3, some people like to take an omega-3 supplement with it. There is no harm in doing that, but look for one high in EPA type omega-3 (a prescription omega-3, Vascepa, is pure EPA). Some fish oil products, such as one from Nature Made, contain both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D3.
- For ratings of supplement products and brands, consult:
- Buying a pill box marked with the days of the week, and using it, is a good idea. It's easy to forget what you've taken, and haven't, some mornings.
All of this, of course, should be discussed with your doctor as soon as you have that opportunity. Besides vetting what is written above, your doctor can run blood tests and calibrate Dr. Marik's recommendations to your needs. People who work in the sun may not need a vitamin D3 supplement, but it could be important if you've been spending time indoors lately. Skin pigmentation makes a difference; a light skinned person needs less time in the sun to get an adequate amount of vitamin D than a dark-skinned person. The point where COVID protection is concerned is that vitamins C and D work together. A person needs both, but they're obtained in different ways.
Prior to COVID Dr. Marik made a name for himself as a leader in sepsis treatment. In explaining the role vitamin C plays he emphasizes its complementary role in facilitating the actions of other medications and critical bodily functions. Combinations matter, as he explains at a couple of points in this recent video interview with Dr. Mobeen Syed: https://youtu.be/xZJixjgu3tk.
In the interview, doctors Marik and Syed also discuss melatonin, which plays an anti-inflammatory role. I've written about another anti-inflammatory pill, colchicine, in a previous Parkchester Times article and discussed it in an interview with doctors conducting the trial. Colchicine is a prescription medication, and its use in COVID treatment remains the topic of a major clinical trial. If you would like to participate in that clinical trial, call (877) 536-6837, but understand that you will not be given colchicine until you have a positive COVID test result, and test result wait times are a major issue right now.
So consider starting melatonin now, at a low dose, as Dr. Marik recommends. The process of increasing a medicine gradually is referred to as titration. As you increase the dose slowly there may be a point at which you experience vivid dreams. If that happens you should stop increasing the dose or take it down a notch if the dreams are bothering you. Melatonin is used as a sleep aid, so you should take it in the evening. Best in the early evening, though, perhaps with dinner, as it ideally helps align your circadian rhythms with sunrise and sunset. Take it at midnight and you're not giving it an opportunity to have the intended effect on sleep. Like colchicine, melatonin is a powerful drug that can have powerful effects at what sound like low doses. Start at 0.3 mg or thereabouts like Dr. Marik says, and if you have questions seek expert advice, if not from a doctor then from a pharmacist or other qualified medical professional.
I've written about famotidine previously, so let's take a moment to review where things stand relative to all three drugs discussed in the previous article 'Is there a COVID medicine I can take without going to the hospital?'
- Colchicine – If you want to participate in the clinical trial, call (877) 536-6837. Otherwise, consider melatonin instead.
- Losartan (Cozaar) – There has been no convincing evidence brought forward that any blood pressure medication is either helpful or problematic with respect to COVID. The consensus advice is that people should stay on whatever blood pressure medication their doctor has recommended.
- Famotidine (Pepcid AC) – If you need to take an acid reducer for your stomach, famotidine is the safest. But if you have no need of an acid reducer, it's not at all clear that you should take famotidine. What's important is that you DO NOT TAKE THE PPI TYPE! New information on the danger of PPIs means the data on famotidine probably needs to be revisited to determine if, of itself, famotidine helps ease COVID symptoms.
There are clinicians treating COVID who caution against overmedication. This writer would especially like to see Dr. Daniel Griffin of Long Island and Dr. Paul Marik in discussion together. Whoever does the vetting of various COVID treatments and protocols, though, they would be making a mistake not to take the recommendations of Dr. Paul Marik seriously.