The largest study to date shows that taking ibuprofen is safe to treat mild COVID-19 symptoms.
Ibuprofen is one of the most used drugs around the world for its analgesic, antipyretic (relieves fever) and anti-inflammatory properties. Although its continued use is not recommended due to side effects such as stomach irritation or liver damage, it is a drug considered safe in controlled doses and short periods that can be obtained easily without a prescription.
However, at the beginning of the pandemic, doctors around the world speculated that the ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will cause a adverse effect in people sick with COVID-19:
The logic behind this assumption started from the notion that NSAIDs can increase ACE2 cell receptors, the gateway that SARS-CoV-2 uses to access cells, present in the lungs, kidneys, blood vessels and other organs.
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According to this idea, taking ibuprofen with the intention of fighting the discomforts of a mild infection such as muscle pain, headache and fever could be counterproductive and aggravate the COVID-19 picture, to the extent of requiring hospitalization due to the triggering of a generalized inflammatory response.
A correspondence published in The Lancet in March 2020 raised suspicions and alerted health services around the world to consider alternatives to the drug in patients with coronavirus; However, more than a year after the start of the pandemic, more and more scientific evidence shows that the Ibuprofen is safe to treat mild COVID-19 symptoms.
This time, the largest study conducted in this regard confirms that ibuprofen does not influence the course of an infection due to COVID-19, nor does it cause an adverse effect that aggravates the disease.
The study published in The Lancet Rheumatology analyzed data from 72 COVID-19 patients in the UK who took ibuprofen before testing positive and being hospitalized. In addition, the study explained that NSAIDs “provide effective analgesia” in inflammatory diseases and ruled out that his administration had any relation to the aggravation or increase in the mortality of patients with COVID-19.
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This does not mean that ibuprofen is effective in stopping the replication of the virus in the body, that it has an antiviral effect or that its administration is decisive when an infection occurs, but rather safe to administer to treat symptoms that do not require hospitalization.
The results of the investigation coincide with updated regulations of different state health institutions; however, some hospitals still hold reserves to administer ibuprofen for mild COVID-19 patients.
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