Coronavirus: Don't take Nurofen, ibuprofen, World Health Organization warns

In a statement, GSK, marketer of ibuprofen brand Advil, said: "As a leader in the OTC pain category, GSK Consumer Healthcare is not aware of any conclusive evidence that ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatories may worsen the outcome in patients suffering from COVID-19 infection".

The concept sparked widespread rumors that painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin quicken the effects of the virus. This is a fake message, please ignore and delete.

This story is far from unique. The letter also said ACE-2-stimulating drugs "increase the risk of developing severe and fatal COVID-19".

At the same time as Veran's recommendation, the French government warned against the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), the family of drugs that includes ibuprofen.

Veran's warning followed the recent publication of a study in the Lancet medical journal that hypothesized that an enzyme boosted by anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen could facilitate and worsen COVID-19 infections.

"In the case of fever, take paracetamol", he wrote.

The complex role that the immune system might play in COVID-19 disease has been underscored by reports that Swiss drug company Roche has secured approval from China for its anti-inflammation drug Actemra (tocilizumab) to treat patients developing severe complications from COVID-19.

"As a reminder, the remedy of badly ventilated pain or fever with COVID19 or some other respiratory virosis relies on paracetamol".

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One of the study's authors, Dr. Michael Roth, who leads a research group at the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel, was also quoted in the school's statement.

There now is no evidence which links anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen with the worsening of COVID-19, NHS said on Wednesday.

France's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NHS) recommends prescribing the lowest dose of ibuprofen for the shortest duration to patients with underlying conditions to prevent adverse events, including cardiovascular or kidney problems.

"We do not now believe there is any proven scientific evidence linking over-the-counter use of ibuprofen to the aggravation of Covid-19". "At present, after a rapid review of the literature, World Health Organization is not aware of published clinical or population-based data on this topic". The World Health Organization tweeted clarification on Thursday to dispel any confusion.

"WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range or partners".

Even before the pandemic, French officials warned of "serious complications" linked to the use of ibuprofen.

The agency, however, advised to take paracetamol to treat symptoms of COVID-19, until more information is available, adding that regulatory agencies are reviewing the evidence. "The sensible thing to do for the moment would be not to take it - to take paracetamol or something else".

Just like a lot of this outbreak, caregivers are working fast to make sure that fast, proper information has been distributed on proper channels.

  • Ismael Montgomery