On Tuesday The World Health Organisation recommended that anyone suffering COVID-19 symptoms avoid using ibuprofen products, which include Nurofen, for now after a serious warning came from French officials who say that anti-inflammatory drugs could worsen the effects of the virus.

However, on Thrsday the amended their stance, declaring: “Based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen.”

Sales of children’s paracetamol will be limited to one per customer due to supply, according to Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly’s press conference on Thursday where he announced restrictions due to stockpiling.

However, WHO’s recent change of stance on ibuprofen has now eliminated the need for parent’s to panic about using the correct over the counter medicines for their families.

An additional statement on Thursday statement from Consumer Health Products (CHP) Australia, the peak local body regarding consumer health products and over-the-counter medications says that:

“Based on all available information, Consumer Healthcare Products (CHP) Australia is not aware of any scientific evidence supporting claims made in recent days suggesting that the use of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, could affect the health outcomes of COVID-19 patients.

“Over-the-counter (OTC) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in Australia have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to reduce fever and temporarily relieve aches and pains. OTC NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, are well-established and rigorously tested medicines that have been used safely for decades, proving effective for the temporary relief of pain and fever.

“That said, individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow the advice provided by their healthcare professional.

“As always, before using any medicine consumers should read the label, follow the instructions for use (including any label warnings), and seek from advice their doctor or pharmacist if they have any concerns.”

Parents should follow the advice of their treating medical professional amid COVID-19 when it comes to the treatment of pain and fever.

Ibuprofen and paracetamol are both effective in the treatment of pain and fever, however the difference is that ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are not necessarily suitable for everyone.

Negative side-effects of NSAIDs – particularly for people with asthma, heart and circulatory problems – mean that for those impacting by these health concerns, self-medicating without medical supervision at this time may be dangerous until further information on the way that these products react with coronavirus comes to light.

Bounty Parents spoke with Dr Brad Mackay to find out the best way for families to treat pain and fever symptoms amid COVID-19 below.

Dr Brad Mackay

Dr Brad Mackay says that if you have a choice, go for paracetamol to treat pain and fever amid COVID-19.

The warning by French Health Minister Olivier Veran appears to have been sparked by a recent study in The Lancet medical journal. The study hypothesised that an enzyme boosted by NSAIDs such as ibuprofen could possibly facilitate and worsen COVID-19 infections.

WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier has said that WHO’s experts were “looking into this to give further guidance.”

The truth is, we don’t actually yet know whether ibuprofen has a particular effect on the severity or length of illnesses caused by coronavirus.

“Ibuprofen worsening COVID-19 symptoms appears to still be a hypothesis at the moment,” Dr Brad Mackay tells Bounty Parents.

“Either Paracetamol or Ibuprofen will help bring down a fever. If you have a choice, it would be best to use Paracetamol at this time to be on the safer side. However, our greater scientific understanding on this topic will evolve over the next few weeks.”

Families should know that if the advice from their medical practitioner was to use ibuprofen, they should not stop taking it without checking first.

“If your own doctor recommends a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) or a Steroid, then please follow their advice.” says Dr Brad Mackay.