No Scientific Evidence Ibuprofen Worsens COVID-19 Disease
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it 'is not aware of scientific evidence connecting the use of NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, with worsening COVID-19 disease symptoms.
The agency said in a press statement on March 19, 2020, that it is investigating this issue further and will communicate publicly when more information is available.'
This FDA clarification is related to a recent article published in The Lancet on March 11, 2020, which hypothesized that an enzyme (a molecule that aids a biochemical reaction in the body) is increased by NSAIDs and could aggravate COVID-19 symptoms.
However, all prescription NSAID labels warn that “the pharmacological activity of NSAIDs in reducing inflammation, and possibly fever, may diminish the utility of diagnostic signs in detecting infections.”
'For those who wish to use treatment options other than NSAIDs, there are multiple over-the-counter and prescription medications approved for pain relief and fever reduction.’
‘The FDA suggests speaking to your healthcare professional if you are concerned about taking NSAIDs and rely on these medications to treat chronic diseases.'
Asked about the study, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters in Geneva the UN health agency's experts were "looking into this to give further guidance."
A spokesperson for British pharmaceutical company Reckitt Benckiser, said in an email statement that the company was aware of concerns raised about "the use of steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) products, including ibuprofen, for the alleviation of COVID-19 symptoms."
"Consumer safety is our number one priority," the spokesperson said, stressing that "ibuprofen is a well-established medicine that has been used safely as a self-care fever and pain reducer, including in viral illnesses, for more than 30 years."
"We do not currently believe there is any proven scientific evidence linking over-the-counter use of ibuprofen to the aggravation of COVID-19," the statement said.
FDA advises the public to read the full Drug Facts Label on OTC medications prior to use. OTC medications are safe and effective when you follow the directions on the label and/or as directed by your healthcare professional, says the FDA. Patients who use prescription drugs should take these medications as directed by your health care professional and in accordance with instructions on the label.
The FDA encourages healthcare professionals and patients to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of any medication to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.