Ibuprofen and Coronavirus: What’s the Link?


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Researchers are working hard to understand as much as possible about the novel coronavirus and information seems to be changing constantly. You may have heard that taking certain pain relievers can worsen the virus. But is this claim true?

Americans take about 30 billion doses of ibuprofen or similar drugs every year! But recent reports have some confused about whether this common medicine is safe to take during the coronavirus outbreak. In mid-March, researchers reviewed three studies that included nearly 1,300 patients with severe COVID-19. They then published a letter in the Lancet, which suggested that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, like ibuprofen, may worsen the body’s response to the coronavirus. Leading health experts to start recommending other options.

“If you do have a fever, Tylenol would be a safer drug at this time,” said cardiologist Scott Greenwood, MD.

But in late March, the World Health Organization modified their stance, saying there’s currently no proven scientific link between ibuprofen and more severe illness, but more studies need to be done. One theory why ibuprofen could worsen outcomes is that high doses can damage the kidneys. Too much ibuprofen can also cause rare but serious side effects, such as stomach bleeding, increased blood pressure, and heart attack or stroke. But right now, scientists are unclear whether there’s a link between the popular medicine and the virus that’s plagued the world.

A study from Boston University found that 15 percent of adults take more than the recommended daily maximum amount of ibuprofen.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.

REPORT #2764

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Those infected will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness, however recover without requiring special treatment. Those with underlying medical problems, particularly the elderly, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. The best prevention and slowing down transmission of the disease is to be well informed about its’ causes and how it spreads. Washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and not touching your face will help protect yourself and others from infection. The virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Currently, there are no specific vaccines or treatments, however, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments.

(Source: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1)

OTC MEDS AND COVID: None of these common OTC medications will actually treat the virus itself. However, these medications will make you feel more comfortable when you’re sick. Just be sure to follow dosing guidelines on the label. An elevated temperature is meant to help your body fight off the virus. But if you feel really bad, it’s okay to take a fever reducer. If your temperature is over 104 F or you or your child has a history of febrile seizures, you will need to contact your doctor. These medicines will also help you get through the body aches. Finally, if you have diarrhea or stomach issues, the best thing to do is to let them run their course and stay hydrated by drinking lots of liquids. If you can’t keep liquids down or feel dizzy, contact your doctor.

(Source: https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/which-otc-medications-are-best-for-coronavirus-symptoms)

NEW DRUG CANDIDATES?: Researchers out of China have found a new candidate drug against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. A type of enzyme without which the virus cannot survive was the starting point. Using two compounds, which they dubbed 11a and 11b, the team managed to inhibit this enzyme. Experiments in mice suggests that scientists could safely administer the two compounds via several routes, including IV drip. However, final animal tests in rats and beagle dogs revealed that 11a is less toxic, so the scientists focused on this one compound. Researchers led by Prof. Nevan J. Krogan, from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) took another route and looked at existing drugs in search of suitable candidates for the fight against SARS-CoV-2. This interactive mapping technique yielded some antibiotics, some antimalarials (although these have dangerous toxic side effects), and, most importantly, a promising anticancer drug called PB28. The scientists say that PB28, which is an experimental drug, was 20 times more potent than the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine at deactivating SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, it may be a lot safer at higher doses.

(Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/covid-19-new-drug-candidates-treatments-offer-reasons-for-hope#What-are-the-new-drug-candidates?)

* For More Information, Contact:

Scott Greenwood, Cardiologist



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