top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Covid-19: 'Ibuprofen can worsen infection'

France’s Health Minister has today issued advice not to take anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or cortisone to treat the possible symptoms of Covid-19 as these could actually worsen the infection.

Minister Olivier Véran instead recommends fighting any fever, one of the symptoms of the coronavirus, with paracetamol.

He put out the message in a Tweet.

Patients on anti-inflammatory drugs for other illnesses are advised to seek advice from their doctor.

The message is important as many people may be self-medicating for the symptoms of Covid-19.

"Anti-inflammatory drugs have an immunosuppressive effect" – ie. they inhibit the activity of the immune system - "which promotes infections. They have a 'booster' effect," Alexandre Bleibtreu, an infectious diseases doctor at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, told the French news source FranceInfo.

Paracetamol does not act on the same pathways as the anti-inflammatory drugs and therefore does not present the same risks, added Mr Bleibtreu. "The only side effects are in the case of liver pathologies and exceeding the recommended doses."

Ibuprofen is sold under this name, but also under other names such as Advil or Nurofen.

What to do to protect yourself and avoid the virus spreading:

1: Wash your hands with soap of hydroalcoholic sanitising gel frequently.

2: Cough or sneeze into your elbow.

3: Use tissues designed for single use.

4; Do not shake hands or greet people with kisses on the cheek;

5: If you are sick, stay at home and wear a surgical mask in the company of others.

If you have returned from a high risk area [China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao), Singapore, South Korea, Iran or the Lombardy and Veneto regions in Italy] and present symptom of respiratory infection such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing within 14 days of your return, call 15. Do not go to your local hospital or doctor.

A free hotline service can answer your questions about the Coronavirus Covid-19 non-stop , 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 0 800 130 000. It cannot give medical advice.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now