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HSE advises coronavirus patients to keep taking anti-inflammatory medication in face of social media misinformation

A statement from the health service said that this includes anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, naproxen or diclofenac.

Image: PA

THE HSE IS advising anyone with Covid-19 to continue to take any medication they were already taking, unless they are told not to by a healthcare professional. 

A statement from the health service said that this includes anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, naproxen or diclofenac.

The HSE said it released the statement in response to false information about anti-inflammatory medication and Covid-19 circulating in media and on social media over the last 24 hours.

Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer of the HSE said: “Only take one anti-inflammatory medication at a time.  It is okay to take paracetamol and an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen at the same time.

“There is no evidence to stop any medication at this time. There is no need to order more medicines than you need, as this will affect the supply of medicines to others, and there is no disruption to the supply of medicines. 

“If you have respiratory symptoms, do not attend your pharmacy in person. Phone your pharmacist if you need to order a prescription. Ask a family member to collect any medicines you need.”

Yesterday, a WhatsApp message shared across the country claimed that there are ‘four young people with non underlying conditions’ in a serious condition at Cork University Hospital with Covid-19, associated with the use of ibuprofen.

This is not true. You can read our full piece where we debunk that claim here

Dr Henry added that medics are “constantly evaluating emerging evidence about the most appropriate treatment of Covid-19″.

He added: “There is no specific treatment for coronavirus but many of the symptoms of the virus can be treated.  If you get the virus, your healthcare professional will advise treatment based on your symptoms. The appropriate medication for an individual with symptoms of Covid-19 will depend on your symptoms, your other conditions and your other medication.”

The HSE advice regarding treatment of symptoms of Covid-19 includes: 

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Paracetamol or ibuprofen may help with symptoms such as pain or fever Paracetamol is usually recommended as the first-line treatment for most people
  • Antibiotics do not work against coronavirus or any viruses
  • They only work against bacterial infections.
  • Regular medication, including anti-inflammatory medication, may be continued by people with Covid-19

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