No evidence ibuprofen worsens coronavirus: EU drugs watchdog

European Medicines Agency said patients, doctors should consider anti-inflammatory drugs for COVID-19 treatment options.

anti-inflammatory pills coronavirus [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]
Based on current advice from EU healthcare regulator, drugs such as ibuprofen must be used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest period possible [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Editor’s note: Always seek the advice of your physician – this article is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

The European Union‘s healthcare regulator has said there currently is no evidence which links anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen with the worsening of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said, on Wednesday, that it was monitoring the situation, adding that patients and healthcare professionals should consider all treatment options including paracetamol and anti-inflammatory drugs to treat fever or pain in patients with COVID-19.

The watchdog is already looking to aid the development of a coronavirus vaccine and prevent supply bottlenecks and medicine shortages due to the outbreak that has infected about 200,000 people across the globe.

The EMA’s announcement follows a similar tone on Monday from Nurofen producer Reckitt Benckiser to check reports that said the pills’ active ingredient ibuprofen would hurt patients.

“In line with EU national treatment guidelines, patients and healthcare professionals can continue using NSAIDs (like ibuprofen) as per the approved product information,” EMA said.

Based on the current advice, medicine such as ibuprofen must be used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest period possible.

The EMA also said it was ready to support any studies looking into how these medicines affect patients with COVID-19.

In May, the regulator’s safety committee began looking into the effects of the drugs following a survey which suggested that infection due to chickenpox and some bacterial infections could be made worse by the medicines.

Source: Reuters