Ibuprofen belongs to a family of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
On 14 March 2020, Olivier Véran, France’s health minister Tweeted that taking anti-inflammatory medicine “could be an aggravating factor” for those infected with Covid-19, and recommended paracetamol for those with a fever.
Later, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), said that observations have been made in individual cases, but this is not sufficient to prove that the medication played a causal role in the severity of the (Covid-19) illness. Verifications are ongoing. In the meantime, caution is recommended when taking Ibuprofen-based medicinal products. In addition, FOPH said it is better to use paracetamol-based medication to treat a fever, but that those taking Ibuprofen as part of a long-term treatment, should continue to take it and consult their doctor.
A research paper published on the US National Institutes of Health website suggests Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be immunosuppressive. The paper concluded by saying these drugs “have the ability to weaken the immune system which can have serious consequences for children, the elderly and the immune-compromised patients.”
In the UK, the NHS said: “There is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse. But until we have more information, take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you. If you are already taking ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on the advice of a doctor, do not stop taking it without checking first.”
This article is not medical advice. It is important to consult a doctor before making any decisions on medication.
FOPH statement (in English)