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IT News Health: Coronavirus and ibuprofen, what you must know

IT News Nigeria:


IT News Nigeria received this message from UK: “We have just been sent a medical alert that no one is to use anti inflammatories (eg brufen, Voltarol, naproxen and there are others)  for pain or high temperature. Use paracetamol instead. There seems to be a link between severe cases of covid19 affecting young people with no underlying illnesses and taking anti inflammatories….’’

Stories have been circulating on social media but how can we separate genuine medical advice and false storie.

To begin with, it is a known pharmaceutical fact that paracetamol and ibuprofen can bring a temperature down and help with flu-like symptoms.

However, ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are not suitable for everyone and can cause side-effects – especially for people with asthma, heart and circulatory problems.

BBC reports that as a result, UK’s NHS has reversed itself, stating that while “there is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (Covid-19) worse… until we have more information, take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you.”

It added that NHS also says that people who are already taking ibuprofen on the advice of a doctor, should not stop taking it without checking first.

The message quoted at the outset of this report continues: “Initial reports started coming from French Drs on Friday. This has been confirmed by infectious diseases consultants here – there are 4 young people in ICU in Cork who have no underlying illnesses – all were taking anti inflammatories and there are concerns this has caused a more severe illness. We have been asked to spread the message. French tv and radio apparently broadcast the same warning today.”

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But  Dr Charlotte Warren-Gash, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is quoted as saying that although we don’t yet know whether ibuprofen has a particular effect on the severity or length of illnesses caused by coronavirus – either in healthy people or those with underlying conditions, especially for vulnerable patients, “it seems sensible to stick to paracetamol as first choice”.

Facts: ibuprofen and Covid-19

{There has been no research into ibuprofen and the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

But there has been some for other respiratory infections, suggesting ibuprofen is linked to more complications and more severe illness – although we don’t know that the ibuprofen itself is causing this, according to Paul Little, a professor of primary care research at University of Southampton.

Some experts believe that ibuprofen’s anti-inflammatory properties may affect the body’s immune response.

Prof Parastou Donyai at the University of Reading says: “There are many studies that suggest ibuprofen use during a respiratory infection can result in worsening of the disease or other complications}.”- BBC

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