It certainly doesn’t take much to start a panic. Following a recent tweet about the possible adverse connection between Ibuprofen And Coronavirus, shoppers went crazy for Paracetamol and you can’t find children’s or adult Panadol anywhere.
French Health Minister Olivier Veran raised alarm bells last week after sharing a tweet warning people suffering from Coronavirus not to consume drugs like ibuprofen and cortisone, saying that it “could be a factor in worsening the infection.”
Mr Veran said that people should opt for paracetamol instead and advised people already taking anti-inflammatory drugs to seek guidance from a doctor.
The tweet, which caused an explosion of concern about Nurofen and similar drugs, has been shared over 43,000 times.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) originally has said that they “recommend using rather paracetamol, and do not use ibuprofen as a self-medication.”
However they have since changed their stance saying that “based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen”.
Don’t Be Concerned
The Consumer Healthcare Products (CHP) Australia has urged people not to be spooked by the minister’s statement.
They said that “Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (OTC NSAIDs) in Australia have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to reduce fever and temporarily relieve aches and pains.
“OTC NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, are well-established and rigorously tested medicines that have been used safely for decades, proving effective for the temporary relief of pain and fever.”
The CHP continued to say that it is unaware of “any scientific evidence supporting claims made in recent days suggesting that the use of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, could affect the health outcomes of COVID-19 patients.”
The European Medicines Agency agrees with this statement saying:
“There is currently no scientific evidence establishing a link between ibuprofen and worsening of COVID‑19.
“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.”
The CHP did add that “individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow the advice provided by their healthcare professional.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the suggestion was a “little bit urban legend” and that there was no “solid evidence” to support the theory after France’s health minister urged people to avoid the drug.
“I think it was a conflating of some medical issues … may be true, may not, but there’s no good scientific evidence that says ibuprofen can make coronavirus worse,” Fauci said in the ‘Pardon My Take’ podcast.
Whether it is true or not, the supplies of Paracetamol have plummetted as shoppers have raided pharmacy and supermarket shelves. You could however still get Nurofen without any trouble, reflecting that the French Minister’s post had the desired effect.
When we asked our readers what they haven’t been able to buy in the shop, Children’s Panadol was high on the list, together with mince, asthma medication, milk, cat litter, wipes, toilet paper and bread.
Restrictions Now In Place
As a response, sales of children’s paracetamol will be limited to one per customer due to supply, according to Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly, who announced restrictions due to stockpiling.
Have you had a problem getting medication? Tell us in the comments below.