In case of a coronavirus infection, don't reach for the ibuprofen, the health minister of France has warned. "The taking of anti-inflammatories [ibuprofen, cortisone … ] could be a factor in aggravating the infection," Olivier Véran, who's also a neurologist, tweeted Saturday. Anti-inflammatory drugs can impair the body’s immune system, making them a risk for infectious diseases in general, including COVID-19, the Guardian reports. Véran recommended taking acetaminophen instead. Acetaminophen sells under brand names including Panadol and Tylenol, per WebMD, which suggests patients ask their physicians how much acetaminophen to take per day.
Véran recommends patients already taking anti-inflammatory drugs check with their doctor about what to do. In January, France began requiring pharmacies to convey the risks to patients wanting to buy over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin. (Read more coronavirus stories.)