Date of prep: December 2020
Prescribing information and
adverse events reporting
For healthcare professionals only
An expert working group concludes that there is currently insufficient evidence to establish a link between the use of ibuprofen and susceptibility to contracting COVID-19 or the worsening of its symptoms.
The Commission of Human Medicines (CHM) expert working group on coronavirus (COVID-19) has concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to establish a link between the use of ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and susceptibility to contracting COVID-19 or the worsening of its symptoms.
Patients have been advised that they can take paracetamol or ibuprofen when self-medicating for symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever and headache, and should follow NHS advice if they have any questions or if symptoms get worse.
Patients have been advised that they should always read the patient information when taking over-the-counter medicines, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol, and follow the instructions on how to take the medicines.
Healthcare professionals should consider a patient’s individual risk factors, including any history of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal illness when prescribing ibuprofen. Additionally, ibuprofen should be used with caution in patients with known renal impairment.
The lowest effective dose of ibuprofen should be used for the shortest duration necessary to control symptoms.
Patients who have been prescribed NSAIDs as a treatment for a long-term condition, such as arthritis, should keep taking these medicines as normal. Adult patients who take low-dose 75 mg aspirin regularly for prevention of heart attacks or for vascular disease should continue to do so.
In other news, the government of India has approved the export of 2,800,000 packets of paracetamol to the UK. The medicine will be distributed to leading UK supermarkets and retailers.
International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss MP:
“Coronavirus is the largest threat we have all faced in decades, so it’s imperative that we work together to continue global trade and keep supply chains open. This will mean nearly 3 million more packets of paracetamol on British supermarket shelves.
“I’d like to extend a big thank you to officials both in the UK and India who worked hard on this agreement and I look forward to working with India and other countries soon to ensure we beat COVID-19.”
This circular is being shared under the Open Government Copyright licence.
Pharmacy in Practice is a UK pharmacy publication with its roots in Scotland.