Updated: Apr 5
Over the past few days, media outlets and social media feds have been inundated with headlines about ibuprofen and the coronavirus. On March 14th, French Health Minister Olivier Véran warned that anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and cortisone, could worsen the illness. In the same informational bulletin, the French health ministry suggested patients switch to acetaminophen (Ministère des Affaires Sociales et de la Santé 2020).
On March 18th, the European Medicines Agency (EMA, 2020) released a statement saying "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 (FRANCISCO 2020)." The World Health Organization tweeted an info-graphic on March 19th that read, "At present, based on current available information, WHO does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen. We are also consulting with physicians treating COVID-19 patients and are not aware of reports of any negative effects of ibuprofen, beyond the usual known side effects that limit its use in certain populations. WHO is not aware of published clinical or population-based data on this topic ((WHO) 2020)."
Veljko Veljkov, et. al. (2020) from the University of Bologna found that drugs, such as ibuprofen, regulate the biological activity of actin protein. Actin protein is an important component during cell-to-cell spread and propagation of viral infection. Furthermore, a fundamental step during lung inflammation from infection is the rearrangement of actin filaments. Further research is being conducted, as this data suggests that ibuprofen and other, similar drugs that regulate actin proteins have the potential to be therapeutic treatment for COVID-19 (Veljko Veljkov, et. al., 2020).
The EMA does not see a need for patients to discontinue their treatment. This is particularly important for patients taking ibuprofen or other NSAID medicines for chronic diseases. The EMA recommends that patients with questions or concerns speak directly with their doctor (EMA, 2020).
Our pharmacists here at VeganMed are also available to answer any questions you may have. We will continue to publish data as it becomes available. If you are looking for an ibuprofen product with no animal-derived ingredients, see our verified product HERE.
FRANCISCO, Estela Miranda. “EMA Gives Advice on the Use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories for COVID-19.” European Medicines Agency, 18 Mar. 2020, www.ema.europa.eu/en/news/ema-gives-advice-use-non-steroidal-anti-inflammatories-covid-19.
Ministère des Affaires Sociales et de la Santé. “Actualisation Recommandations Covid 19.” DGS, 14 Mar. 2020, dgs-urgent.sante.gouv.fr/dgsurgent/inter/detailsMessageBuilder.do?id=30500&cmd=visualiserMessage.
Veljkovic V, Vergara-Alert J, Segalés J and Paessler S. Use of the informational spectrum methodology for rapid biological analysis of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV: prediction of potential receptor, natural reservoir, tropism and therapeutic/vaccine target [version 2; peer review: awaiting peer review]. F1000Research 2020, 9:52 (https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.22149.2)
(WHO), World Health Organization. “Q: Could #Ibuprofen Worsen Disease for People with #COVID19?A: Based on Currently Available Information, WHO Does Not Recommend against the Use of of Ibuprofen. Pic.twitter.com/n39DFt2amF.” Twitter, Twitter, 18 Mar. 2020, twitter.com/WHO/status/1240409217997189128.