People, who suspect they have caught the novel coronavirus, should not take the popular drug ibuprofen without consulting a doctor, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.
WHO gave the warning on Tuesday, pointing to the ongoing research into possible negative effects.
WHO’s spokesman, Christian Lindmeier, told a Geneva news conference that there are no recent studies that link the anti-inflammatory drug with increased mortality rates, but he added that experts are currently investigating the matter.
“We recommend paracetamol, not ibuprofen in self-medication,’’ Lindmeier said.
The UN agency’s comments came after leading French health officials warned against using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) against the coronavirus disease.
This group of pharmaceuticals includes ibuprofen, aspirin and other drugs.
A recent article in the medical journal “The Lancet” put forward the hypothesis that some drugs including ibuprofen might pose a risk for COVID-19 patients, who also suffer from high blood pressure or diabetes.
Lindmeier also reported that two WHO staff members have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 respiratory disease.
Several hundred WHO staffers started working remotely from home on Tuesday.
The UN health agency no longer invites journalists to its premises to update them on the coronavirus pandemic, but broadcasts its briefings on social media.