The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs by COVID-19 patients – in a nutshell

Keywords: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, COVID-19, Coronavirus, inflammation, pain, ibuprofen, Diclofenac, aspirin, Naproxen, Indomethacin, paracetamol

Abstract

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for a large scale of morbidities and mortalities worldwide, posing a significant threat to global health. COVID-19 has been challenging due to a lack of established treatment guidelines. Nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) comprise of a heterogeneous group of compounds used for the symptomatic relief of fever, pain and inflammation. NSAIDs exert their effects by inhibiting prostaglandins' biosynthesis, resulting in anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic effects. They may be beneficial in reducing inflammation and prevent fatal cytokine storms in COVID-19. However, the use of NSAIDs by COVID-19 patients has been controversial, with some reports recommending their use, while others contraindicated them. This may be due to the heterogeneous nature of COVID-19 including different strains or cases. There seem to be COVID-19 cases where NSAIDs should not be used; however, there is no evidence that NSAIDs should be avoided in all COVID-19 patients.

Author Biographies

B T Flepisi, University of Pretoria

Department of Pharmacology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

N Schellack, University of Pretoria

Department of Pharmacology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Published
2021-06-30
Section
Reviews