Paracetamol vs Ibuprofen for Coronavirus?
Reviewed and fact-checked by Giulia Guerrini, Superintendent Pharmacist. Read our editorial policy to see how we create informative, accurate content.
Using paracetamol for coronavirus symptoms
The current main advice from the NHS for those with coronavirus symptoms is to "drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol to help with your symptoms".
Paracetamol relieves pain and can also be used to reduce a fever. It’s advised that you take paracetamol for now to treat symptoms, unless you’ve been told by your GP that paracetamol is unsuitable for you.
Using ibuprofen for coronavirus symptoms
It was previously suggested by Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance that people should not take ibuprofen.
The NHS said on the 17th March that there’s currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make COVID-19 symptoms worse but they have advised using paracetamol.
As an anti-inflammatory drug, experts have speculated that it can dampen the response from your immune system to fight the virus.
The Commission on Human Medicines, which advises the UK government, concluded that there is insufficient evidence to establish a link between ibuprofen use and the likelihood of getting the coronavirus or worsening symptoms.
The best option is still considered to be paracetamol. It is an effective pain killer and will help lower your temperature but is not an anti-inflammatory drug.
This means it can reduce symptoms such as a fever without counter attacking the inflammation.
Information is changing all the time but please check with your doctor for advice specific to you and follow NHS guidelines on best practices.