The World Health Organization (WHO) Tuesday recommended that folks with symptoms of COVID-19 avoid taking ibuprofen after French officials warned that anti-inflammatory drugs could exacerbate the consequences of the virus.
The warning, issued by French Health Minister Ferrand after a recent study within the Lancet medical journal that hypothesized that an enzyme-boosted anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen could facilitate and increase COVID-19 infection.
When asked about the study, WHO spokesman Christian Lindemeyer told reporters in Geneva that the UN health agency experts “are looking into this to offer more guidance”.
“Meanwhile, we recommend using paracetamol instead, and that we don’t use ibuprofen as a self-medication. this is often important,” he said.
He added that if “ibuprofen is prescribed by health care professionals, that in fact is up to them.”
His comments came after Ferran sent a tweet warning that the utilization of ibuprofen and similar anti-inflammatory drugs might be a “aggravating factor” during a COVID-19 infection.
“In case of fever, take paracetamol,” he wrote.
The French minister stressed that patients who are already being treated with anti-inflammatory drugs should seek advice from their doctor.
Paracetamol should be taken strictly consistent with the recommended dose, since an excessive amount of can damage the liver.
The COVID-19 epidemic, which has infected nearly 190,000 people worldwide and killed quite 7,800 people, causes mild symptoms in most of the people , but it can cause pneumonia and in some cases severe disease which will cause multiple organ failure.
Even before the epidemic occurred, the French authorities sounded the alarm due to the intense “infectious complications” related to the utilization of ibuprofen, which is sold under various brands like Norovin, Advil, and other anti-inflammatory drugs.
A spokesperson for British drug company Reckitt Benckiser, which makes Norovin, said in an emailed statement that the corporate was conscious of concerns raised about “the use of steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products, including ibuprofen, to alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19”.
“Consumer safety is our first priority,” the spokesman said, stressing that “ibuprofen may be a well-established drug that has been used safely as a fever for self-care and reduces pain, including viral diseases, for quite 30 years.”
“We don’t currently believe that there’s any proven scientific evidence linking the utilization of ibuprofen without a prescription with exacerbation of COVID-19,” the statement said.
The spokesman said Reckitt Benckiser was “dealing with the planet Health Organization, the ecu Medicines Agency (EMA) and other local health authorities” on this issue and would offer “any additional information or guidance necessary for the safe use of our products after any such evaluation.”