Coronavirus: Ibuprofen warning finds versatile support

Coronavirus: Ibuprofen warning finds versatile support

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Other experts warn of ibuprofen in corona symptoms

Ibuprofen is increasingly being rated as a risk factor for serious infections with the new coronavirus. If in doubt, paracetamol should be used, warn experts from science and medicine in a current article by the renowned specialist magazine "BMJ" (British Medical Journal).

Clear scientific evidence is still lacking, but there is growing evidence that ibuprofen as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) increases the risk of serious coronavirus infections. In the technical article, the experts therefore advocate using paracetamol (paracetaminophen) instead of ibuprofen for symptoms of Covid-19. You expressly support the French Minister of Health's warning about taking ibuprofen at Covid-19.

Indications of increased symptoms

The Minister's statements also seem to relate in part to cases of young coronavirus patients who were treated in a clinic in southwestern France and who developed serious symptoms after taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the early stages of the disease, reports the BMJ. However, the clinic has not yet confirmed this.

Harmful effects no surprise

Jean-Louis Montastruc, professor of medical and clinical pharmacology at the Central University Hospital in Toulouse, explains in, however, that such deleterious effects would come as no surprise. Since 2019, on the advice of the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products, the French health workers have been instructed not to treat fever or infections with ibuprofen.

Complications from NSAIDs

The British expert, Paul Little, professor of primary care research at the University of Southampton, also sees Ibuprofen as a possible risk factor. There is some evidence that "longer illnesses or complications from respiratory infections can occur more often when NSAIDs are used - both for respiratory or septic complications and for cardiovascular complications," reports Prof. Little.

The recovery process could be slowed down

Professor of Virology at Reading University, Ian Jones, adds that ibuprofen's anti-inflammatory properties can "dampen" the immune system, which can slow the recovery process. In addition, “due to the similarities between the new virus (SARS-CoV-2) and SARS I, it is likely that Covid-19 will reduce a key enzyme that partially regulates blood and salt levels in the blood and could contribute to pneumonia in extreme cases "Ibuprofen makes this worse while paracetamol doesn't," said Prof. Jones.

Paracetamol instead of ibuprofen

Charlotte Warren-Gash, associate professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, concludes that possible connections between NSAIDs and severe coronavirus infections must now be further investigated. In the meantime, however, it seems sensible to use paracetamol instead of ibuprofen to treat symptoms such as fever and sore throat, according to the experts' unanimous opinion. (fp)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters


  • Michael Day: Covid-19: ibuprofen should not be used for managing symptoms, say doctors and scientists; in: BMJ (published March 17, 2020),

Video: Coronavirus and Ibuprofen (August 2022).