IBU and COVID-19 Are Not a Great Mix, Well…Maybe!

Oftentimes it is during a crisis that we turn to the experts – especially medical experts. Recently it was reported that IBU and COVID-19 are not a great mix. This proclamation was pronounced by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The recommendation to abstain from IBU is just for those who are indeed infected with the Coronavirus, who have symptoms. It is being reported that IBU may worsen those symptoms.

The first look at IBU was done during a study by – The Lancet medical journal – where it was hypothesized that an enzyme involved in the Coronavirus could be boosted by anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. IBU is one of the most taken medications of this category.

A warning was subsequently issued by France’s Health Minister – Olivier Veran after reading the Lancet and reporting that IBU could put patients at risk.

The WHO responded by stating that IBU should be avoided. This information was a few days ago.

European Medicines Agency

On 03/18/2020 – the EMA joined the ongoing debate about IBU and COVID-19 by saying, “EMA is aware of reports, especially on social media, which raise questions about whether non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen could worsen Coronavirus Disease (COVID 19). There is currently no scientific evidence establishing a link between ibuprofen and worsening of COVID‑19. EMA is monitoring the situation closely and will review any new information that becomes available on this issue in the context of the pandemic.

For more information check out the following:  EMA gives advice on the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories for COVID-19

World Health Organization

Earlier in the week, World Health Organization spokesman recommended that those suffering symptoms of COVID-19 should avoid IBU.

When asked about the Lancet medical journal study, WHO spokesman Christian Lindemeier told reporters in Geneva that United Nations health agency experts were “looking into this to give further guidance. In the meantime, we recommend using [paracetamol], and do not use ibuprofen as a self-medication. That’s important,” he said.

Read more about this here: Avoid taking ibuprofen for Covid-19 symptoms: WHO

However, WHO spokeswoman Ashley Baldwin told Fox News in an email that the WHO is “gathering further evidence” before making a formal recommendation, and that she was not aware of any “clinical or population-based data on this topic.”

A twitter feed on 03/18/2020 – WHO recommendation is as follows:  Twitter Feed @WHO

The Bottom Line

More Research is Necessary.

IBU may or may not cause additional symptoms in patients with symptoms. Additionally, it can slightly reduce the temperature of a patient that could be at risk. But so can Paracetamol – Also called Acetaminophen (Tylenol).

But, at the present time, there is no evidence that IBU can worsen COVID-19.  Much of this is echoed in additional reports

More research is needed to evaluate reports that ibuprofen may affect the course of COVID-19,” the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases said in an emailed response. “Currently, there is no evidence that ibuprofen increases the risk of serious complications or of acquiring the virus that causes COVID-19.

Driving home the point, the U.S. institute’s statement noted: “There is also no conclusive evidence that taking ibuprofen is harmful for other respiratory infections” either.


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4.)  Pandemic Coronavirus 2020

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