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Ibuprofen May Worsen Coronavirus Symptoms, WHO Warns

The WHO’s recommendation comes after a study published on March 11 in The Lancet medical journal speculated that an enzyme stimulated by anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen could potentially worsen coronavirus symptoms. According to the study, drugs like ibuprofen increase the number of ACE-2 receptors on cell surfaces, which COVID-19 uses to infect cells.

However, some experts say that there is no evidence to substantiate the claims that anti-inflammatory drugs could exacerbate coronavirus symptoms.

In general, the human body is able to fight infections better when its temperature is higher, which is the purpose of a fever. However, for every 1 degree Celsius that body temperature increases, the metabolic rate – the amount of energy the body uses at rest in a given time frame – also rises by 12%.

We don’t want to pay that metabolic price when we don’t have to, so we only make a higher temperature when we need it.

Thus, while taking drugs such as aspirin, paracetamol or ibuprofen can alleviate a fever, doing so may mean the body will need more time to fight an infection.