March 16, 2020 / 11:46 AM / 15 days ago

Nurofen maker says not aware of evidence ibuprofen bad for COVID-19 patients

March 16 (Reuters) - Reckitt Benckiser said on Monday it was not aware of any evidence that ibuprofen, an active ingredient in the company’s popular pain-killing drug called nurofen, adversely impacts the health of patients suffering from COVID-19.

The company's statement comes in response to a warning here by France's health minister on Saturday that people should not use anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen if they have coronavirus-like symptoms as they could worsen their condition.

Olivier Véran, France’s health minister who is also a qualified doctor, said in a tweet 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.”

Nurofen, one of Reckitt’s more popular drugs, contains 200 mg of Ibuprofen as its active ingredient in each tablet and is indicated for “effective pain and inflammation relief and reducing fever,” according to the company’s website.

“RB has neither received new safety information nor been involved in the evaluation of any adverse events regarding the use of ibuprofen in COVID-19,” the company said on Monday, adding it was aware of the recent concerns on social media about the use of ibuprofen.

“Appropriate use of ibuprofen and paracetamol is still currently being recommended by most European health authorities as part of the symptomatic treatment of COVID-19,” the company that also makes Dettol and Lysol disinfectants said.

The number of deaths in France from the coronavirus increased by more than a third on Sunday to 127 and over 5,400 have been infected, according to the country's health authorities. ( Famous landmarks including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum, and schools are closed across France, but the country's government is yet to take more severe measures similar to those seen in its hard-hit neighbours, Italy and Spain. (Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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