Does ibuprofen increase your risk of catching Coronavirus?

There are a number of stories circulating online which are stating that if you take ibuprofen it can increase your risk of catching Coronavirus. But it true? We spoke to Dr Kunal Patel, Travel Health Physician at the Tropical Medical Bureau and asked him ‘does ibuprofen increase your risk on catching Coronavirus?’ Here is what he told us.

  • Currently there is NO evidence at this time to support this as this has been based on a proposed hypothesis raised in the Lancet (Respiratory Medicine).
  • There are studies, such as this hypothesis, that suggest ibuprofen use during a respiratory infection can result in worsening of the disease or other complications BUT there is no CLEAR evidence of this.
  • The recently published hypothesis focused on patients with diabetes and hypertension, who currently are considered already vulnerable to COVID-19. These patients take medication that is essential for their conditions. Said medication raises levels of a certain enzyme within the blood. It has been shown that other types of coronavirus, such as SARS can bind to this enzyme. Therefore, the authors hypothesised that diabetes and hypertension treatment with drugs that can increase this enzyme, including ibuprofen, increases the risk of developing severe and fatal COVID-19.
  • The key word to remember is HYPOTHESIS and there is no actual, current research into ibuprofen and the new coronavirus. There is currently NO evidence to suggest that someone who is low risk (not vulnerable) and taking ibuprofen for symptoms of COVID-19 is putting themselves at further risk of complications.
  • It is therefore advised not to compromise your current medication regime, especially if you have diabetes and/or hypertension.

Remember to always use trusted sources when sourcing information about Coronavirus such as WHO, CDC, ECDC or TMB.

Want to read some more facts and myths about coronavirus? Please click here