Ibuprofen Debate Reveals
Danger of Covid-19 Rumors


Online furor over whether it’s safe to use the fever reducer
reveals how people are sharing incomplete—and sometimes bad—information.

Ibuprofen Do Not Panic

By Maryn McKenna

TWO WEEKS AGO, national and world health authorities—and armchair experts and worried well-meaning people—were warning anyone concerned about Covid-19 to avoid ibuprofen. Now, facing contradictory evidence, they’ve backed off that claim.

But the brief online furor over whether it’s safe to use the fever reducer, and the attention paid to the claim that it might be dangerous, are important, both for how people protect themselves in this pandemic and also for how we consume news about it.

Health institutions and agencies are begging people who believe they are ill to stay at home unless their symptoms are severe enough for hospital admission—so permitting people to use the medications they have on hand, rather than forcing them out to pharmacies, is an important accommodation. And researchers who study acetaminophen, the drug briefly touted as the only appropriate fever remedy, warn that it isn’t risk-free either.

That the advice against ibuprofen got circulated at all is a study in good intentions complicated by biases and possibly by misinformation as well. It showcases how the stress of a global pandemic is causing bad and incomplete information to rise as people rush to deploy whatever protections might be available on the shelf.

The trouble over ibuprofen began March 11, when researchers at University Hospital Basel, in Switzerland, and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in Greece, published a letter in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. The letter reviewed three early sets of case reports from China, covering almost 1,300 patients gravely ill with Covid-19. Read More - Maryn McKenna - Wired


There’s been some confusion recently on whether we should or shouldn’t take ibuprofen to treat symptoms of COVID-19 – especially after the World Health Organization (WHO) changed its stance. After initially recommending people avoid taking ibuprofen to treat symptoms of the new coronavirus disease, as of March 19 the WHO now does not recommend avoiding ibuprofen to treat COVID-19 symptoms. - Ibuprofen and COVID-19 symptoms – here’s what you need to know