As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’ve taken a little break from coronavirus updates over the last week.
Developments on this front have been fast and furious, and if you dread reading the latest headlines every morning, rest assured, you’re not alone. These are uncertain times for everyone.
But today, I want to return to the topic to address a warning that’s been making its rounds. And it’s one that I believe to be important to keep in mind for at least as long as this pandemic lasts…
Fresh warnings about ibuprofen
As you may have already heard, there have been reports that it may not be safe to use ibuprofen to treat a coronavirus fever. In fact, it seems that the World Health Organization (WHO) issued an official recommendation to avoid it, before walking that advice back based on currently available information.
So let’s take a closer look at the rationale behind this warning.
Coronavirus patients with diabetes and hypertension—two of the underlying conditions that make a COVID-19 infection more fatal—tend to have higher levels of an enzyme called ACE-2. If this sounds familiar, that’s because ACE-2 is a popular target of blood pressure drugs—one class of which is designed to inhibit the enzyme.
This could be a potentially dangerous problem, according to a letter published alongside a recent study in The Lancet. Because coronaviruses use ACE-2 to latch onto cells and infect them. And non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, are known to boost levels of this enzyme.
So the suggestion that ibuprofen use might worsen an infection? Well, it stands to reason.
But, it’s also pure speculation at this point. Which is why this topic remains the subject of fierce debate. A debate that will likely continue until more is known about COVID-19, and the waters we’re all navigating are a little less uncharted.
Stay in bed and sweat it out
The WHO may not feel comfortable issuing an ironclad recommendation on this front. But given what’s at stake, I certainly do have suggestions for supporting your immune system. (I’m not alone, either. Many authorities, including the French Health Minister, have spoken out on this.)
And one of those recommendations is the same one I’ve been giving my entire career: Avoid ibuprofen whenever you can—because the fact is, you don’t need it anyway.
Fevers are miserable, yes. But unlike breathing difficulties—which absolutely do require immediate medical attention—they’re generally not dangerous by themselves. In fact, fevers serve a very critical biological purpose in your immune system’s efforts to fight off infection.
So even if these particular concerns about ibuprofen turn out to be unfounded, it still might only make sense to let your body do its work without interference—until we know more.
It’s no walk in the park. But as long as you stay hydrated, it’s safer to stay in bed and sweat it out.
Of course, if you’re really uncomfortable, this is the one case where I’ll give Tylenol® or aspirin the green light—as needed—for basic fevers and body aches.
P.S. If you’re looking for additional ways to support your immune system, check out my Complete Guide to Year-Round Immunity. This comprehensive report details a full breakdown on the most powerful, natural approaches to supporting your immune system—in the wake of COVID-19, or any virus, all year-round. To learn more, or to order yourself a copy today, click here now!
“Updated: WHO Now Doesn’t Recommend Avoiding Ibuprofen For COVID-19 Symptoms.” Science Alert, 03/17/2020. (sciencealert.com/who-recommends-to-avoid-taking-ibuprofen-for-covid-19-symptoms)