Amelia Milner Bristol ibuprofen coronavirus debate: Does taking the anti-inflammatory drug compromise one’s immune system and thereby worsen symptoms?
Amelia Milner of Bristol‘s worsening condition follows ongoing debate within health circles as to whether the easily obtainable medicine often used to relieve symptoms of pain, fever, and inflammation — should be taken to combat the contagion.
Posted Amelia’s step-dad, Dan Collins on Facebook on Sunday, ‘To those of you that have children please read. If your child has symptoms of corona virus, DO NOT give them ibuprofen.’
‘Amelia’s been unwell since Tuesday, cough, fever, cold. This morning she came into my room and got into my bed burning hot and not wanting to get up,’
‘Within an hour of giving her [ibuprofen] she dropped dramatically. She was panting while trying to breathe, her heart rate was very rapid, she couldn’t keep her eyes open, couldn’t lift her head up, her body was shaking, she started being sick on herself and her temperature had risen.
‘We called back up and they sent out an emergency ambulance, once the paramedics got here they managed to bring her temp and stats down a bit, they’re still higher than normal but not dangerous high anymore,’
‘Now she’s back on [acetaminophen] she’s back to just being her poorly self. The paramedics only told us while here that were not to give her ibuprofen!’
This is lighting my timeline up and it’s getting on my nerves. To be clear: there is no evidence whatsoever that ibuprofen, NSAIDs, and other anti-inflammatories increase susceptibility to #SARSCoV2 #HCoV19 #COVID19 #coronavirus.https://t.co/BxdP9Bdsio
— Dr. Angela Rasmussen (@angie_rasmussen) March 14, 2020
But what does medical evidence show?
Some top medical experts are warning against taking ibuprofen if the coronavirus is suspected – with some medics questioning if ibuprofen may in fact compromise one’s immune system – which is often the gateway as to whether someone comes down with the illness which continues to claim lives as scientists scramble to come up with a COVID-19 vaccine.
While ibuprofen is used to treat pain, including from headaches and sore throats, along with colds, it ‘can have a depressive effect on parts of our immune systems’ — a real danger for coronavirus sufferers, wrote Dr. Amir Khan, of Britain’s public health care National Health Service, Al Jazeera reports.
‘If we take medicines that dampen this immune response, such as ibuprofen, this can lead to us not fighting off the infection as effectively, potentially leading to a longer illness with a higher risk of complications,’ he said.
Khan said alternatives for pain and fever could include paracetamol, commonly known as Panadol, or acetaminophen, which is the main ingredient in Tylenol.
Also weighing in on the debate is France’s health minister.
Tweeted, Olivier Veran over the weekend, ‘Taking anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, cortisone…) could be an aggravating factor of the infection. If you have a fever, take paracetamol. If you are already on anti-inflammatory drugs or in doubt, ask your doctor for advice.’
But other health experts said they are not convinced that ibuprofen is harmful to coronavirus sufferers.
‘Deeply concerned about this bold statement,’ tweeted Muge Cevik, a scientist with the University of St Andrews Infection and Global Health Division, after Veran’s statement.
‘There’s no scientific evidence I am aware of that ibuprofen [causes worse] outcomes in #COVID19.’
It is common knowledgethag people with lung problems like asthma can’t take ibuprofen so why would anyone think that it would be safe in Coronavirus. Thank God this is trending #Ibuprofen
— JaY (@yehzbat) March 17, 2020
— Ranj Singh (@DrRanj) March 16, 2020