World Health Organization backtracks on advice not to take ibuprofen for COVID-19 cases

The health agency backtracked on previous advice not to take the drug.
The health agency backtracked on previous advice not to take the drug. Photo credit: Getty

The World Health Organization [WHO] has confirmed ibuprofen is safe to take for COVID-19 coronavirus cases.

On Wednesday, WHO recommended people who have coronavirus symptoms avoid taking the drug after French health officials warned it could worsen the illness.

France's health minister Olivier Veran tweeted on Saturday saying anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and cortisone could be an "aggravating factor" for COVID-19.

"If you have a fever, take paracetamol. If you are already on anti-inflammatory drugs or in doubt, ask your doctor for advice," he wrote.

WHO said they were looking into the reports and in the meantime advised the public to use paracetamol.

The World Health Organization have confirmed in a tweet on Thursday morning they are not aware of any published data that supports the claims.

"At present, based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen," the post says.

"We are also consulting with physicians treating COVID-19 patients and are not aware of reports of any negative effects of ibuprofen, beyond the usual known side effects that limit its use in certain populations."

Side effects for ibuprofen include bloating, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.