Coronavirus and Ibuprofen

Coronavirus and Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is the most used over-the-counter medication. This belongs to the class of medications known as NSAIDs. Ibuprofen is usually recommended to:

  • Reduce fever
  • Help with management of pain
  • Reduce the inflammation due to injury or in the management of long-term inflammatory conditions

NSAIDs stop the production of chemicals called cyclo-oxygenase COX-1 and -2. These chemicals are responsible for the synthesis of prostaglandins that are made in response to infection or injury.

With fever being the main symptom of Coronavirus infection, it makes sense to use NSAIDs for the management of the condition. Several patients choose to use both Ibuprofen and Paracetamol for fever. Ibuprofen and Paracetamol have distinctive mechanisms of action that allow more effective treatment.

Can Ibuprofen Worsen Coronavirus Infection?

Several details are suggesting that the observation between Ibuprofen and Coronavirus Infection came from a doctor who treated young Coronavirus patients. This particular doctor reported 4 cases of young patients with no underlying conditions. They have severe symptoms after using NSAIDs at the beginning of the infection. Ibuprofen has anti-inflammatory actions. For this reason, its effect might negatively affect the immune system. Consequently, it slows down the recovery course. Also, there are similarities between the Coronavirus Infection and SARS-I virus. They strongly might contribute to the development of pneumonia. No other proof exists to support the worsening effect of NSAIDs.

Hypothesis for an Increased Risk of Infection

A certain hypothesis is out about an increased risk of catching Coronavirus Infection. Particularly, it is due to treatment with Ibuprofen. Accordingly, certain medications increase the number of ACE-2 receptors on the surface of specific cells in the body. Usually, receptors are a binding site where a medicine, another molecule, or virus can attach. Coronavirus Infection attaches to the ACE-2 receptor of the epithelial cells. These are located in the blood vessels, kidneys, intestines, and lungs.

Diabetic patients who take ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers have an increased number of ACE receptors present. The same increase is seen in patients with hypertension. Typically, it is those who are treated with angiotensin II receptor blockers or ACE inhibitors. An ACE inhibitor such as Ramipril is one of the most prescribed medicines in the UK. Also, it is the most common medicine prescribed for hypertension. It is suggested that:

  • Diabetic patients or patients with hypertension who are treated with angiotensin II blocker or ACE inhibitor have an increased risk of developing a severe case of Coronavirus Infection
  • An increased number of ACE receptors facilitate infection with Coronavirus Infection

Stopping NSAIDs

Patients who manage their long-term conditions with Ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs question the safety of the treatment. It takes into account the current outbreak of Coronavirus Infection. Should they stop taking NSAIDs?

  • There is no evidence to suggest NSAIDS Coronavirus Infection worse
  • Do not stop taking your medication without consulting a doctor

Little proof exists to support the hypothesis that Ibuprofen or other NSAIDS worsen Coronavirus Infection. Patients with confirmed Coronavirus Infection must use Paracetamol in preference to Ibuprofen. Patients who take NSAIDs every day for the management of long-term conditions must not stop taking their medicine. You need to consult your doctor if in hesitation.

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