Coronavirus Statement

Ibuprofen and COVID-19 (coronavirus)  

We are aware of the ongoing discussion concerning the use of steroids & non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen, for the alleviation of COVID-19 symptoms.  Our medical experts pulled together the following perspective to help you navigate the information you are hearing in case you have questions. 

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1) What is the current discussion around ibuprofen and COVID19? 

There have recently been conflicting reports, particularly in social media channels, questioning whether ibuprofen is linked with worsening of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The World Health Organisation (WHO), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have since issued statements confirming an absence of conclusive scientific evidence and data to support this concern. 

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2) Will taking ibuprofen (Nurofen and others) worsen the COVID-19 illness?  

Based on all available information, there is currently no proven scientific evidence linking over-the-counter use of ibuprofen to the aggravation (worsening) of COVID-19 (coronavirus).  Ibuprofen is a well-established medicinal agent with a good safety profile that has been used as an effective analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-pyretic (fever-reducing) medicine in the self-care setting for more than 30 years.   

As with any medicine, we would remind consumers and their caregivers to carefully read and follow the instructions provided on the packaging and in the professional information leaflet before use. If you have any additional questions or concerns, you should speak to a healthcare professional. 

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3) If I am already taking ibuprofen, should I stop?  

If you have concerns or questions about the appropriateness of your treatment or other options available to you, you should speak to a healthcare professional. 

Ibuprofen is a commonly used medicine in the self-care and prescription setting, typically in pain relief and fever reduction. Based on all available information, there is currently no proven scientific evidence linking short-term over-the-counter use of ibuprofen to the aggravation (worsening) of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) or to an increased risk of contracting the virus.  

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4)  Are there any special considerations for children or the elderly? 

As with any medicine, there are specific instructions relating to special patient groups in terms of who should and should not use ibuprofen and how it should be taken. We would remind consumers or caregivers to carefully read and follow the instructions provided on the packaging and in the professional information leaflet before use. If you have any additional questions or concerns, you should speak to a healthcare professional. 

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5) What is Nurofen’s position regarding whether ibuprofen should be used in treating COVID-19 symptoms?  

Based on all available information, there is currently no proven scientific evidence in any population linking over-the-counter short-term use of ibuprofen to the aggravation (worsening) of COVID-19 or to an increased risk of contracting the virus. Ibuprofen is a well-established medicinal agent with a good safety profile that has been used as an effective analgesic (pain reliever) and anti-pyretic (fever-reducing) in the self-care setting for more than 30 years.    

If you have concerns or questions about the appropriateness of your treatment or other options available to you, you should speak to a healthcare professional.  

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6) Will taking ibuprofen (Nurofen) increase the risk of contracting COVID-19?  

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. The virus affects the respiratory system and, based on currently available data, is thought to be most likely spread by droplets from sneezing and coughing.  

There is currently no proven scientific evidence establishing a link between ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and an increased risk of contracting COVID19.  

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7) What is ibuprofen? 

Ibuprofen is the active pharmaceutical ingredient that belongs to a class called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This class of medicines is typically used to relieve pain and / or reduce fever.  Ibuprofen is a well-established and effective medicinal agent that has been used for more than 30 years by billions of consumers in over 90 countries.  

If you have concerns or questions about the appropriateness of your treatment or other options available to you, you should speak to a healthcare professional.  

 

Dated: March 25, 2020 

 

If symptoms persist contact a healthcare professional.

 

References:

  1. SAHPRA: South African Health Products Regulatory Authority. Media Release. The Use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs in patients with Covid-19. Issued 25 March 2020. Available from: http://www.sahpra.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Media_Release_The_use_of_NSAIDs-in-COVID-19_25Mar2020.pdf [Accessed July 2020].
  2. WHO: World Health Organisation. Scientific Brief. The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in patients with COVID-19. Issued 19 April 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/the-use-of-non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory-drugs-(nsaids)-in-patients-with-covid-19 [Accessed September 2020].
  3. UK Commission on Human Medicines. Ibuprofen and coronavirus (COVID-19) Central Alerting System letter 14 April 2020. Available from: https://www.cas.mhra.gov.uk/ViewandAcknowledgment/ViewAlert.aspx?AlertID=103025 [Accessed July 2020]

​S1 Nurofen® Tablets. Reg. No. S/2.7/123. Each sugar-coated tablet contains 200 mg Ibuprofen.

Name and business address of the holder of the certificate of registration: Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd., 8 Jet Park Road, Elandsfontein, 1601. For full prescribing information refer to the package insert approved by the Medicines Regulatory Authority. Customer Care Line: 0861 11 11 00. Nurofen is a trademark of the RB Group. Nurofen-Digital-C19-2020. ©2020