Australia

World Health Organization says ibuprofen is fine for coronavirus patients

A file photo of ibuprofen painkillers on a pharmacy shelf. Source: AAP

The WHO says it has not seen any reports about negative effects from doctors who treat patients suffering from COVID-19 with the drug ibuprofen.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has withdrawn its warning that people who suspect they might have caught the coronavirus should not take the popular drug ibuprofen.

The UN agency clarified on Thursday that it is not aware of published scientific data on this topic.

The WHO added that it had not seen any reports about negative effects from doctors who treat patients suffering from COVID-19, the respiratory disease that is caused by the coronavirus.

The World Health Organisation posted an update on its LinkedIn page.
The World Health Organisation posted an update on its LinkedIn page.
LinkedIn/WHO

"At present, based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen," it said in a statement, while pointing out that patients should be aware of the drug's known side effects.

On Tuesday, a WHO spokesman had said that people who think they might have been infected should not take the anti-inflammatory drug without consulting a doctor.

A recent article in The Lancet medical journal put forward the untested hypothesis that some drugs, including ibuprofen, might pose a risk for COVID-19 patients who also suffer from high blood pressure or diabetes.

A group representing the manufacturers of non-prescription medicines, the Association of the European Self-Care Industry, welcomed the WHO's clarification.

"Responsible self-care is crucial in decreasing the burden on health-care systems, particularly during this time of crisis," the group said in a statement.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor, don’t visit, or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

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