FDA warns of DIY treatment for coronavirus using oxygen concentrator

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The FDA on Friday warned against buying or using an oxygen concentrator in the home without a valid prescription, as it can lead to serious health issues such as oxygen toxicity. The regulatory agency said the product may be available for sale online, but the products have not been approved by the FDA for use without a prescription.

“You shouldn’t use an oxygen concentrator in the home unless it has been prescribed by a health care provider,” the FDA said in a consumer update released Friday. “Giving yourself oxygen without first talking to a doctor can do more harm than good. You may end up taking too much or not enough oxygen. Deciding to use an oxygen concentrator without a prescription can lead to serious health problems such as oxygen toxicity caused by too much oxygen. It can also delay treatment for serious illnesses like COVID-19. “

Oxygen levels can be monitored with a small device called a pulse oximeter or pulse oximeter, which does not need to be prescribed and has seen increased sales amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, the FDA has warned that it is possible to get a wrong or inaccurate reading if you use one at home.

CORONAVIRUS SURVEILLANCE: WHAT IS AN OXIMETER?

Reasons why oxygen therapy such as an oxygen concentrator, which filters nitrogen from the air, can include breathing problems such as asthma, lung cancer, COPD, influenza, or COVID- 19, but must be administered under the care of a physician. Breathing in high concentrations of oxygen can cause lasting damage to the lungs, while too little can damage the heart, brain and other organs.

“If you are prescribed an oxygen concentrator for chronic health conditions and you have changes in your breathing or oxygen levels, or if you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider ”Advises the FDA. “Do not change the oxygen levels yourself. “

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