Researchers Looking into Ibuprofen to Treat COVID-19

Since the beginning of the pandemic, people have told us not to take ibuprofen (Advil) to help fight the symptoms of COVID-19. Their reasons were vague and were mostly summed up with “that makes it worse.” It was made worse when the French Health Minister Olivier Veran said in March that patients with Covid-19 should avoid it as it might worsen their infections. Although other sources refuted it, the damage was done. Now, scientists are looking at whether that’s true or if ibuprofen can help ease COVID-19 symptoms.

There is so much information floating around about COVID-19. And, because COVID-19 is so new and different from other viruses, many things are learned about it all the time. Some respiratory conditions are made worse by ibuprofen, which is how the rumor started. However, COVID-19 is different than other infections.

The National Health System in the UK put out a statement about it. “There is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (Covid-19) worse, until we have more information take [Tylenol] to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you [Tylenol] is not suitable for you.” They also said that if you take ibuprofen for other conditions, you should not stop taking it unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

A team in England is testing whether adding ibuprofen to COVID-19 patient’s treatment would reduce inflammation and help them breathe without a respirator. The ibuprofen they are using is actually formulated to be more effective than OTC versions. They are hoping it could reduce the length of people’s hospital stays. The study will be randomized, with half the people receiving the drug in addition to other care and half receiving standard care alone.

The study is led by Prof. Richard Beale, Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine. “As a new illness, there are limited treatment options for patients with COVID-19,” he said. “The clinical trial will assess whether this unique formulation of an established drug benefits patients with COVID-19.”

The study has already shown favorable pre-clinical results. If successful, it may lower the cost of treatment, as well as improve outcomes. Prof Mitul Mehta, one of the team members, said, “We need to do a trial to show that the evidence actually matches what we expect to happen.”

As with every other study in the works, we are keeping our fingers crossed that this shows good results. Many studies are looking into vaccines, and, obviously, we hope those work. But, we’ll take any win. It’s heartening to see scientists working on so many different projects in efforts to help people who are ill and help protect us from harm.

Until results come in, remember to wear a mask, wash your hands and don’t touch your face. We’ve all heard it over, and over, and over again, but these are the best ways to prevent yourself, and those around you, from becoming infected.
June 05, 2020
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