France says drugs like ibuprofen could aggravate COVID-19 but experts differ

  • French health minister tweeted saying anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen could aggrevate symptoms of COVID-19

  • Experts criticised the advice as it is not based on any evidence

The Health ministry of France has recently suggested that anti inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen could aggrevate the impact of novel coronavirus infection. Olivier Veran, the health minister, tweeted it on Saturday and suggested an alternative to it like paracetamol. The tweet soon met with criticism from the medical fraternity as there were no evidence for such a claim.

A French report said grave adverse effects are linked to the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) –which includes ibuprofen – that has "been identified with patients affected by Covid-19, in potential or confirmed cases."

Oliver Veran's Tweet
Oliver Veran's Tweet Twitter

A WhatsApp forward was circulated attributing the connection between ibuprofen and MedUni Vienna, one of the largest medical schools. The school later tweeted that it was a fake news.

Experts have put out different opinions soon after. "I don't think we've had any firm evidence to suggest that [ibuprofen aggravating Covid-19] is a concern at this point," said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, professor of pediatrics and infectious disease epidemiologist at Stanford University in California.

Even, the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, had recommended using lowest dosages of ibuprofen for shortest of duration to prevent side effects like cardiovascular and kidney problems.

France has confirmed more than 6,660 cases of COVID-19 with 148 deaths and 12 recoveries. It has already shut down restaurants, cafes, cinemas and clubs to increase social distancing. "We are at war – a public health war, certainly but we are at war, against an invisible and elusive enemy," said France president Emmanuel Macron when he announced that he would help the economy with a €300bn (£273bn) package while he promised households that all gas, electricity and heating bills and rents would be suspended throughout the crisis.

Related topics : Coronavirus