NHS England says it will review the evidence and keep its position under review.
Patients with suspected Coronavirus (COVID-19) should use paracetamol in preference to NSAIDs, according to a memorandum sent to all clinical staff by NHS England’s Medical Director.
The advice comes after French Health Minister and neurologist Dr. Olivier Véran advised that Iburpofen “could be an aggravating factor of the infection”.
NHS England reassured healthcare professionals that there is currently “no evidence” and “no current literature” around the claim and the advice is only precautionary and stressed that patients on NSAIDs for other reasons “should not stop them”.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the National Insititute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) have now been asked to review the evidence and provide a recommendation.
In a statement, NHS England said; There has been concern about the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) in relation to Covid-19 following a statement by the French Health Minister (a clinician) advising against the use of ibuprofen. This statement was based on provisional information reported from French care settings which UK authorities have not seen and is, to date, unpublished.
“There is no current literature on the impact of NSAIDs use in Covid-19.
There appears to be some evidence for SARS 1 that there may be an adverse impact on pneumonia. There is also some literature suggesting NSAIDs may increase complications from simple acute respiratory infections or slow
recovery. However the evidence is not conclusive overall.
There appears to be no evidence that NSAIDs increase the chance of acquiring Covid-19. In view of the current lack of clarity the Committee of Human Medicines (an advisory body of MHRA) and NICE have been asked to review
the evidence. It is therefore suggested that, in the interim, for patients, who have confirmed Covid-19 or believe they have Covid-19, that they use paracetamol in preference to NSAIDs.
“Those currently on NSAIDs for other medical reasons (e.g. arthritis) should not stop them.
“This position will be kept under constant review.”