The World Health Organization recommended Tuesday, March 17 that patients suffering from COVID-19 (Coronavirus) symptoms avoid taking ibuprofen, after French officials warned that non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could worsen effects of the virus.
A recent study in The Lancet medical journal hypothesized that an enzyme boosted by NSAIDs could facilitate and worsen COVID-19 infections. According to a group leader in Cell Biology of Infection at the UK’s Francis Crick Institute, there is good reason to avoid ibuprofen as it may exacerbate acute kidney injury brought on by any severe illness, including COVID-19. WHO spokesman, Christian Lindmeier, stated experts are “looking into this to give further guidance.
Several doctors and researchers said more evidence is needed before any links are made between ibuprofen and COVID-19 symptoms. But in the meantime, it is recommended that NSAIDs be avoided as a preliminary precaution. Instead, acetaminophen should be used for treatment of fever or pain linked to COVID-19. If you are already taking NSAIDs due to other health conditions, ask your doctor of pharmacist for advice.
Below is a list of common NSAIDs. Be sure to check ingredients in overthe-counter medications, such as pain relief and cold/flu items, that may contain these products.
- ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- ketorolac (Toradol)
- meloxicam (Mobic)
- naproxen (Aleve)