New Delhi: People showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus should refrain from taking anti-inflammatory drug Ibuprofen and use paracetamol instead. This claim by France’s health minister has received support from World Health Organization (WHO). The UN health agency’s experts on Tuesday said they were ‘looking into this to give further guidance.’
“In the meantime, we recommend using paracetamol, and not Ibuprofen as a self-medication. That’s important,” said an expert. He added that if Ibuprofen had been “prescribed by a professional, then, of course, that’s up to them.”
A recent study published in medical journal, The Lancet, hypothesised that an enzyme boosted by anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen could facilitate and worsen Covid-19 infection. This was followed by a warning from French health minister Veran who advised Covid-19 suspects to refrain from using the drug, commonly prescribed and consumed over-the-counter for fever, pain and inflammation.
“In case of fever, take paracetamol,” the minister wrote and stressed that patients already being treated with anti-inflammatory drugs should take advice from their doctors.
Paracetamol must be taken strictly according to the recommended dose, because too much of it can damage the liver.
The Covid-19 pandemic has infected around two lakh people globally and killed over 7,800. It is known to cause fever, dry cough and shortness of breath in most patients, but in some cases, involving elderly and those with co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, among others, it can result in pneumonia and multi-organ failure leading to death.
There is no cure for the disease and treatment involves symptomatic relief mostly. Recently, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) suggested that Lopinavir and Ritonavir, anti-HIV drugs, could be used in adults who are confirmed positive for Covid-19 and have complications such as: severe respiratory distress, very low blood pressure and new-onset organ dysfunction. It has fixed parameters to decide how severe the respiratory distress should be for the fixed dose combination to be used on a patient.
Similar parameters have been fixed for other possible complications as well, upon which the drug can be used to save the patients.
According to ICMR experts, the inclusion of the anti-HIV drugs for treating Covid-19 was based on earlier evidence about their effectiveness against SARS and MERS coronaviruses that led to outbreaks in different parts of the world in 2002-03 and 2012, respectively, as well as the docking studies conducted by National Institute of Virology, Pune.-Times Of India