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Covid-19: Use paracetamol over ibuprofen unless taking ibuprofen already, NHS urges


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By Isabel Shaw
Reporter

18 Mar 2020

There is currently ‘no strong evidence’ suggesting that ibuprofen can make coronavirus symptoms (Covid-19) worse, the latest NHS guidance has confirmed and urged those taking the NSAID to continue doing so.

The guidance, published on Tuesday, advised that patients already taking ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on the advice of a doctor should continue to do so unless a medical professional has advised otherwise until the NHS has gathered more information on the potential effects that ibuprofen has on patients suffering from coronavirus. 

However, patients must still continue to take paracetamol to treat symptoms of coronavirus unless their doctor has said paracetamol is not suitable for them.

This new guidance comes after recent France’s health minister Olivier Véran – a qualified doctor – tweeted that anti-inflammatory medicines including ibuprofen ‘could be a factor in aggravating the [Covid-19] infection’

Last week, The Pharmacist learned that UK wholesalers have been experiencing shortages of common medications, including paracetamol and ibuprofen, after a sharp increase in the demand for the drugs in recent weeks. 

Indian exports of paracetamol and other drugs and ingredients have also been restricted, as firms there struggled to get supplies from Chinese manufacturers in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic.


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