Ibuprofen use safe in COVID-19 infection, doesn't aggravate symptoms: Study
Israel: Compared with paracetamol or no antipyretic, ibuprofen use was not associated with worse clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients, according to a recent study. Findings of the study, published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, refute the belief that ibuprofen might increase the risk for severe and fatal coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The current outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 has rapidly spread throughout the world and has become a global pandemic. According to recent updates, more than 4 lakh people have been affected by the deadly virus in India alone and the number continues to grow. Though COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory disease, its insidious and non-specific clinical course can result in a delayed diagnosis and a prolonged period of self-administered symptomatic treatment. As fever is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, antipyretic medications, including ibuprofen, play an important role in controlling patients' symptoms.
E.Rinott, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel, and colleagues aimed to evaluate whether ibuprofen use in people with COVID-19 was associated with more severe disease, compared with those using paracetamol or no antipyretics.
For the purpose, the researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients with COVID-19 from Shamir Medical Centre, Israel. They monitored any use of ibuprofen from a week before diagnosis of COVID-19 throughout the disease.
Primary outcomes were mortality and the need for respiratory support, including oxygen administration and mechanical ventilation.
The study included 403 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with a median age of 45 years.
Key findings of the study include:
- Of the entire cohort, 44 patients (11%) needed respiratory support and 12 (3%) died.
- 179 (44%) patients had fever, with 32% using paracetamol and 22% using ibuprofen, for symptom-relief.
- In the ibuprofen group, 3 (3.4%) patients died, whereas in the non-ibuprofen group, 9 (2.8%) patients died.
- Nine (10.3%) patients from the ibuprofen group needed respiratory support, compared with 35 (11%) from the non-ibuprofen group (p 1).
- When compared with exclusive paracetamol users, no differences were observed in mortality rates or the need for respiratory support among patients using ibuprofen.
"In this cohort of COVID-19 patients, ibuprofen use was not associated with worse clinical outcomes, compared with paracetamol or no antipyretic," concluded the authors.
The study, "Ibuprofen use and clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients," is published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection.