Does Ibuprofen increase risk of contracting serious case of coronavirus (COVID)?

Recent study sheds light on relationship between Ibuprofen, COVID-19

Local 4's Dr. Frank McGeorge weighs in on whether ibuprofen should be taken among those with COVID-19

One of the concerns that emerged early in the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was whether taking Ibuprofen could increase the risk of contracting a serious case of the virus.

That concern was based on a statement that apparently came from France’s health minister at the time. There wasn’t any actual research or data to suggest Ibuprofen was dangerous with COVID-19 at the time, but we have since learned more about the relationship.

The question over Ibuprofen’s potential effect of COVID-19 wasn’t clear-cut. The SARS-CoV-2 virus uses the Ace-2 receptor to get into cells, and there was reason to believe that certain medications might increase the number of Ace-2 receptors, which would lead to increased susceptibility to infection.

At one point, agencies such as the World Health Organization issued recommendations to avoid the use of Ibuprofen in COVID-19 patients, but subsequently retracted those recommendations.

A new study published in the journal PLOS One is providing a direct answer. Researchers looked at data from more than 9,000 Danish citizens who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between February and April. Nearly 250 of them filled prescriptions for Ibuprofen in the 30 days before their dignoses.

Compared to people who didn’t use Ibuprofen, there was no difference in hospitalizations, the need for an ICU or deaths, experts said.

The authors concluded that there was no reason to withhold Ibuprofen solely because of a COVID-19 infection.

Based on the new information, there appears to be no reason for concern about using Ibuprofen with COVID-19, though it’s important to remember medications like Ibuprofen have other effects on the stomach, kidneys and cardiovascular system.

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About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.