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Banner Health warns there are no medications, treatments for COVID-19

An elderly woman wearing a mask amid the spread of the new coronavirus accepts free medication. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

PHOENIX — Banner Health’s Poison and Drug Information Center is warning about medications and treatments that promise to cure COVID-19.

“There’s nothing anyone should be taking specifically for COVID at home,” Dr. Daniel Brooks, the center’s medical director, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“If you’re not sick enough to be in a hospital, specifically in an intensive care unit, there’s really no medicines from the internet or elsewhere that you should be taking specifically for COVID.”

Most people who become infected with COVID-19 don’t require hospitalization. Brooks said they can recover at home and take things like cough medicine or fever reducers.

But he said people should not go out looking for coronavirus treatments.

“There’s nothing out there,” he said. “You’re wasting your time, you’re wasting your money and you’re putting yourself and your family at risk.”

There have been several treatments for COVID-19 touted as safe and effective but no evidence to prove that they actually work.

The most recent is a chemical called Oleandrin that comes from a plant that grows in the Valley. It has been reported that individuals close to President Donald Trump are promoting Oleandrin as a treatment for coronavirus.

But Brooks warned against using Oleandrin, saying it’s known to be extremely toxic.

“This is incredibly dangerous,” he said. “There’s no science to it. It’s not thought to be at all beneficial at preventing or treating COVID. It can only harm you.”

He said small injections of Oleandrin can cause gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In more severe cases, it can cause irregular heart rhythm that can lead to death.

Brooks also advised people to not rely on the internet or politicians for medical advice, but rather turn to public health experts.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit

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