Coronavirus Outbreak: WHO withdraws advisory issued against use of ibuprofen drug for COVID19 symptom

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Coronavirus outbreak: A day after the World Health Organisation had warned people suffering from Coronavirus like symptoms to avoid the use of ibuprofen, the world’s top health body withdrew its advisory with an update on its official twitter account. On the basis of the currently available information, the organisation doesn’t recommend against the use of ibuprofen, the WHO said. The earlier advisory from WHO came after French Health Minister Olivier Veran said that the anti-inflammatory drugs might worsen the condition of patients suffering from the deadly virus, Science Alert reported.

A study by the medical journal Lancet had also reached similar conclusion saying that the enzyme boosted by anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen could worsen COVID-19 infections. However, the WHO had only cautioned against the use of the drug as self-medication and left it to the physicians to prescribe the drug if warranted.

Withdrawal of the advisory in a matter of less than 24 hours also conveys the mysterious nature of the virus which has baffled health experts so far. In the meantime, the World Health Organisation had also suggested that people suffering from n-cov symptoms could consume Paracetamol to ease their pain.

"We recommend the use of Paracetamol over ibuprofen in the meantime for self-medication," a WHO spokesperson was quoted by Science Alert .To the question of ibuprofen being recommended by physicians, the spokesperson said that it was up to the doctors to recommend the drug and advised people against consuming the drug as part of self medication. Health officials have also cautioned people against consuming high dosage of Paracetamol as high consumption of Paracetamol could also damage the liver.

On the other hand, the stance of French health minister has remained against the drug and he insisted that the use of ibuprofen could have "aggraving effects" and asked people to get doubly sure with their physician. Pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the drug under various brands had treaded cautiously but maintained that there was no scientific evidence which could prove that the drug aggravates the condition of COVID-19 patients.

Notably, ibuprofen is a well established medicine and has been widely used for more than 30 years to ease the pain in fever, a spokesperson of British manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser was quoted as saying by Science Alert. The company spokesperson had also said that there is no evidence to link the medicine with aggravation in COVID 19 cases.

He had further said that the company is engaging with all stakeholders including the WHO and French authorities and would provide any necessary information or guidelines in the future. The development assumes significance as the symptoms of the deadly Coronavirus are akin to those of a common flu including fever, dry cough and respiratory problems. Health experts and countries are trying their best to study the novel coronavirus in order to find its cure.