Paris, Mar 15: French authorities have warned that widely used over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs may worsen the coronavirus.
The country’s health minister, Olivier Véran, who is a qualified doctor and neurologist, tweeted on Saturday: “The taking of anti-inflammatories [ibuprofen, cortisone … ] could be a factor in aggravating the infection. In case of fever, take paracetamol. If you are already taking anti-inflammatory drugs, ask your doctor’s advice.”
Health officials point out that anti-inflammatory drugs are known to be a risk for those with infectious illnesses because they tend to diminish the response of the body’s immune system, The Guardian reported.
The health ministry added that patients should choose paracetamol because “it will reduce the fever without counterattacking the inflammation”.
French patients have been forced to consult pharmacies since mid-January if they want to buy popular painkillers, including ibuprofen, paracetamol and aspirin, to be reminded of the risks.
Jean-Louis Montastruc, the head of pharmacology at Toulouse hospital, told RTL radio: “Anti-inflammatory drugs increase the risk of complications when there is a fever or infection.”
The French health ministry announced on Friday evening that the number of coronavirus case in the country had increased by 800 in 24 hours. Véran said there were 3,661 confirmed cases that had lead to 79 deaths. Of the sick, 154 people are in intensive care.