Do anti-inflammatories stimulate coronavirus (COVID-19)?
This is a hot issue as to whether a drug called ibuprofen or Nurofen, (has various brand names in the market), whether that’s a problem with COVID-19 or the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
There’s a little bit of evidence that ibuprofen stimulates the production of the receptor in your lungs, the lock-and-key mechanism into which the virus fits. And if it stimulates the production of these receptors, then there’s more opportunities for the virus to enter your body. It’s theoretical.
There’s a little bit of evidence in people that this actually might be right, that you’re more susceptible. But equally there’s also a little bit of evidence that if you do get it, the anti-inflammatory effect is not that bad for your lungs and may dampen down the overactive immune response that causes the condition.
Equally, if you are on ibuprofen because you need it for rheumatoid arthritis to control your pain, I wouldn’t go off that until you discuss it with your rheumatologist or your general practitioner because some people really do need to be on it.
If you get a cough and a cold and a fever, I would just stick to paracetamol at the moment. That’s the safest thing.
Last Reviewed: 20/03/2020