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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

No scientific evidence to support claims ibuprofen worsens COVID-19

Health Industry Hub | March 20, 2020 |

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is aware of anecdotal reports circulating in the media of an association between the use of ibuprofen (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID) and worse outcomes in patients with COVID-19.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) also became aware of reports, especially on social media, which raised questions about whether non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen could worsen coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The warning by French Health Minister Olivier Veran followed a recent study in The Lancet medical journal that hypothesised that an enzyme boosted by anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen could facilitate and worsen COVID-19 infections.

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The TGA investigated this safety concern and found that there is currently no published peer-reviewed scientific evidence to support a direct link between use of ibuprofen and more severe infection with COVID-19. The TGA will continue to monitor this issue.

The EMA spokesperson said “There is currently no scientific evidence establishing a link between ibuprofen and worsening of COVID‑19. EMA is monitoring the situation closely and will review any new information that becomes available on this issue in the context of the pandemic.”


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