Ibuprofen and Covid, here’s what you should know.

July 24, 2021
5 min read

Ibuprofen is identified as a pain reliever that belongs to a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which reduce pain and inflammation. It assists in relieving pain or fever such as menstrual cramps, muscle pain, migraines, sprains, back pain, dental pain, inflammation, and swelling.

They function by preventing the body from producing certain substances that cause inflammation and pain.

During the covid outbreak, there were concerns that Ibuprofen and medications like it could worsen the results of the virus in some patients, but we have seen no support for it.

Concerns are circulating in the media and in the medical literature over the use of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in patients with COVID-19. These medications include medications such as Ibuprofen (often called Nurofen), which is used to treat pain, inflammation, and fever.

Concern was sparked by the publication of a letter published in The Lancet on March 11, 2020. The letter discussed three studies that found that a significant proportion of patients with Covid-19 had serious illnesses such as diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure.

The research stating non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) affect, risk, or increase the complications experienced after the covid 19 vaccination like fever and body ache is said to be ‘purely theoretical’ by professional doctors.

There was a fierce debate in the early months of the pandemic regarding taking NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen increases the risk of more severe progression and the risk of complications if they become infected with COVID-19.

In March 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidelines stating that there is no clear scientific evidence linking NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen to poorer outcomes of COVID-19. However, recent guidelines and new studies suggest that taking drugs such as Ibuprofen does not make the infection more severe.

While doctors remain concerned about NSAIDs, it seems reasonable to choose paracetamol when the total dose does not exceed 3,000 milligrams per day. Clinical Infectious Diseases (July 2020) – experts of an observational study from South Korea suggest that the harms related to NSAIDs outweigh the benefits for patients with COVID-19 and should be used carefully. (July 2019) — A research concludes that there is currently no specific evidence for the use of NSAIDs in patients with Covid-19.

A new study of more than 72,000 people in the UK suggests that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen and naproxen don’t worsen the disease or cause the death of COVID-19 patients in the hospital.

The use of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen does not increase the risk of adverse events or lead to higher mortality rates in patients with COVID-19 hospitalized, based on results of a new study published in The Lancet rheumatology. Direct Advil usage is safe and effective for pain relief and reducing fever in relation to both covid-19 and vaccination-covid-19 infections, based on the general medical consensus.

Ibuprofen before the covid vaccine

Covid vaccination is given to protect you from catching coronavirus. Just like every other vaccine, it comes with its own set of side effects such as fever, headache, exhaustion, and pain or uncomfortable sensation near the site of injection.

The severity of the side effects varies for every individual; for some, it could be mild, whereas, for others, it could be severe, lasting for more than three days resulting in turning to over-the-counter (OTC) medications for migraines and pain relief.

NSAIDs’ function is reducing the secretion of antibodies produced by the immune system to fight off viruses or infections like SARS-CoV-2, whereas the coronavirus vaccine helps the body produce more antibodies to prevent covid-19. This situation has led to medical professionals questioning whether Ibuprofen can be consumed before getting the covid vaccine injected.

Alternative methods to gain relief from the side effects of covid 19 vaccination for patients who want to avoid taking pain relievers (Ibuprofen) or can’t consume Ibuprofen due to some underlying diseases such as kidney conditions:

For pain at the site of injection, use a cold compress or cover with a wet washcloth to reduce swelling. Also, allow blood circulation in the arm gradually and carefully by getting back to the physical movement of the arm.

If you are experiencing body aches and drowsiness, physical rest is the solution.

For fever-like situations, it is recommended to consume more fluids, stay stress-free, and lastly, physical rest.

Seek immediate medical help from your doctor or physician if your fever lasts longer than three days and you experience abdominal or chest pain, skin rashes, or difficulty breathing. This treatment is not approved for inpatient COVID-19 patients who are already receiving oxygen therapy.

Some NSAIDs include well-known painkillers and antipsychotics such as aspirin, Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Naproxen, and Aleve). NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen, diclofenac, and naproxen have been associated with acute kidney damage, and the risk of this injury may be increased in people prone to dehydration, such as the elderly or seriously ill.


Moore N, Carleton B, Blin P, Bosco-Levy P, Droz C. Does Ibuprofen Worsen COVID-19? Drug Saf. 2020 Jul;43(7):611-614. doi: 10.1007/s40264-020-00953-0. PMID: 32529474; PMCID: PMC7287029. Accessed on 17/07/2021
Poutoglidou F, Saitis A, Kouvelas D. Ibuprofen and COVID-19 disease: separating the myths from facts. Expert Rev Respir Med. 2021 Jul 8:1-5. doi: 10.1080/17476348.2021.1951239. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34196258. Accessed on 17/07/2021

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