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Advisory: No evidence Ibuprofen worsens Covid-19

Web posted on March 24, 2020

No scientific evidence that ibuprofen worsens COVID-19 symptoms

Starting date:

March 20, 2020

Type of communication:

Information Update

Subcategory:

Drugs

Source of recall:

Health Canada

Issue:

Important Safety Information

Audience:

General Public, Healthcare Professionals

Identification number:

RA-72633


Last updated: 

March 20, 2020
For immediate release

Summary

Product: Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Issue: We are aware of reports, including on social media, that reference safety issues with the use of ibuprofen in COVID-19 cases. There is no scientific evidence that establishes a link between ibuprofen and the worsening of COVID-19 symptoms.
What to do: If you have symptoms of COVID-19, speak with your healthcare provider regarding the most appropriate health products for the treatment of fever or pain. If you are currently taking ibuprofen, especially for a chronic illness, do not stop taking your medication.

OTTAWA  Health Canada is aware of reports, including on social media, that reference safety issues with the use of ibuprofen in COVID-19 cases. There is no scientific evidence that establishes a link between ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and the worsening of COVID-19 symptoms. The Government of Canada is monitoring the situation closely, including reviewing new information and reports as they become available, and will take the appropriate action to help protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Some reports have suggested that there are risks of using ibuprofen to treat symptoms of infection. In August 2019, Health Canada initiated a safety review of ibuprofen and the risk of certain serious bacterial infections in children with chicken pox, and has recently concluded there was no link. A summary of this review is expected to be published shortly.

When choosing a fever or pain relief medication for COVID-19, patients and healthcare professionals should consider all available treatment options, including acetaminophen and other NSAIDs. Each product has its own benefits and risks, listed in the product labelling.

Ibuprofen is an NSAID used for pain and fever relief, and to reduce inflammation. The majority of ibuprofen products in Canada are available over-the-counter (e.g., Advil and Motrin). NSAIDs, as with acetaminophen, may mask the usual signs and symptoms of an infection. Patients should consult with their healthcare professional if symptoms persist.

It is important to note that Canadians who currently use any NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen and naproxen) to treat their chronic diseases should not stop their treatment and should speak to their healthcare professional if they have any questions about changing medications.

Report any health product adverse events or complaints to Health Canada.

Media Inquiries:
Health Canada
613-957-2983
hc.media.sc@canada.ca

Public Inquiries:
613-957-2991
1-866-225-0709

 


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