Fact: Based on all available information, there is currently no proven scientific evidence linking over-the-counter use of ibuprofen to the aggravation (worsening) of COVID-19.   

 

Support: The World Health Organization (WHO), European Medicines Agency (EMA), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and various other health authorities have also issued statements acknowledging an absence of conclusive scientific evidence on this topic.

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states:

‘WHO does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen’

WHO are consulting with physicians treating COVID-19 patients and are not aware of reports of any negative effects of ibuprofen, beyond the usual known side effects that limit its use in certain populations’

– World Health Organisation (WHO) Tweet, 19 March 20201

 

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) states:

‘When starting treatment for fever or pain in COVID-19, patients and healthcare professionals should consider all available treatment options including paracetamol and NSAIDs.’

European Medicines Agency (EMA), statement, 18 March 20203

 

The United Kingdom medical authorities have released the following statement:

‘The Commission on Human Medicines’ Expert Working Group on coronavirus (COVID-19) has concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to establish a link between use of ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and contracting or worsening of COVID-19. 

Patients can take paracetamol or ibuprofen when self-medicating for symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever and headache.’

Commission of Human Medicines (CHM) statement, 14 April 2020.2

 

The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) states:

‘At this time, FDA is not aware of scientific evidence connecting the use of NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, with worsening COVID-19 symptoms.’

US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), statement, 19 March 20204

 

The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) says:

‘There is currently no published peer-reviewed scientific evidence to support a direct link between use of ibuprofen and more severe infection with COVID-19’

Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), statement, 20 March 20205

 

References

  1. Full WHO statement available here.
  2. Full UK healthcare authorities letter available here.
  3. Full EMA statement available here.
  4. Full US FDA statement available here.
  5. Full Australia TGA statement available here.

 

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