The announcement supported a recent statement by the French health minister that ibuprofen may worsen the effects of COVID-19 and should be avoided.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that people with COVID-19 symptoms avoid taking ibuprofen, after concerns were raised by French officials that it may make the virus more harmful.A recent study in The Lancet medical journal, theorizing that an enzyme boosted by ibuprofen could enable and exacerbate COVID-19 infections, led France’s Health Minister Olivier Veran to suggest via social media that the medicine be avoided.
Questioned on the study by reporters in Geneva, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said that experts were “looking into this to give further guidance.””In the meantime, we recommend using rather paracetamol, and do not use ibuprofen as a self-medication. That’s important,” he said.If ibuprofen had been “prescribed by the healthcare professionals, then, of course, that’s up to them,” he added.Ibuprofen is sold under a number of brand names, including Nurofen and Advil.A spokesman for Reckitt Benckiser, the British pharmaceutical company which makes Nurofen, said in an email statement that the company is aware of the concerns over the use of anti-inflamatories such as ibuprofen for treating COVID-19 symptoms, according to Science Alert.
“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.Reckitt Benckiser was “engaging with the WHO, EMA [the European Medicines Agency] and other local health authorities” regarding the matter, and would give them “any additional information or guidance necessary for the safe use of our products following any such evaluation,” the spokesman added. Read more