Nurofen is aware of ongoing conflicting information concerning the use of steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) products, including ibuprofen, for the alleviation of COVID-19 symptoms.
Based on all available information, there is no proven scientific evidence linking the use of ibuprofen to the aggravation of COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed via Tweet (https://twitter.com/WHO/status/1240409220916432899), that based on currently available information:
- WHO does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen.
- WHO are consulting with physicians treating COVID-19 patients and are not aware of reports of any negative effects of ibuprofen, beyond the usual known side effects that limit its use in certain populations.
This follows the European Medicines Agency (EMA) guidance that ‘there is currently no scientific evidence establishing a link between ibuprofen and worsening of COVID‑19’. The full statement is available here (https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/news/ema-gives-advice-use-non-steroidal-anti-inflammatories-covid-19), which includes the following points:
- When starting treatment for fever or pain in COVID-19, patients and healthcare professionals should consider all available treatment options including paracetamol and NSAIDs.
- There is currently no reason for patients taking ibuprofen to interrupt their treatment, based on the above. This is particularly important for patients taking ibuprofen or other NSAID medicines for chronic diseases.
In addition, the Department of Health Australia were referenced in a local media story, noting:
- Not enough is known about the virus to fully understand the effects of taking ibuprofen.
- Over the counter anti-inflammatories may play a role in general symptomatic management of mild cases of COVID-19 disease.
Consumer safety is the number one priority of RB Health. Ibuprofen is a well-established medicine that has been used safely as a self-care fever and pain reducer, including in viral illnesses, for more than 30 years. All Nurofen products in Australia are thoroughly reviewed and approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the regulatory body for therapeutic goods in Australia for safety and efficacy when used as indicated.
As with any medicine, we would remind consumers and their caregivers to carefully read and follow the instructions provided on the packaging. If consumers have any additional concerns, we encourage them to speak to their healthcare provider.
As a responsible, science-led organisation, we are engaging with the relevant local and global health authorities, including Consumer Health Products Australia and the Australian Department of Health. We remain committed to communicating any additional information or guidance necessary for the safe use of our products should the need arise.