Today’s COVID-19 Practical Tip: Painkillers

French authorities have warned the public to avoid widely used over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs that may worsen the coronavirus.

The country’s health minister, Olivier Véran, who is a 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.”

Anti-inflammatory drugs are a known risk for those with infectious illnesses because they tend to diminish the body’s immune system response.

The health ministry added that patients should choose paracetamol – which is known in the US by the generic name acetaminophen and commonly by the brand name Tylenol – because “it will reduce the fever without counterattacking the inflammation”.

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