A recent
study has found that there is no evidence for or against the use of
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen for patients with

The study,
led by researchers at King’s College London, also found other types of drugs,
such as TNF blockers and JAK inhibitors safe to use.

Altogether 89
existing studies on other coronavirus strains such as MERS and SARS, as well as
the limited literature on COVID-19, were analysed to find out if certain pain
medications, steroids, and other drugs used in people already suffering from
diseases should be avoided if they catch COVID-19.

patients, for example those with cancer, are already given immunosuppressive
drugs — therapies that can lower the body’s immune system — or
immunostimulant drugs — therapies that boost it. If these patients then
contract COVID-19, doctors need to know what medication to stop.

Dr Mieke Van
Hemelrijck, a cancer epidemiologist and an author on the paper, said:
“This pandemic has led to challenging decision-making about the treatment
of COVID-19 patients who were already critically unwell. In parallel, doctors
across multiple specialties are making clinical decisions about the appropriate
continuation of treatments for patients with chronic illnesses requiring immune
suppressive medication.”

The article
has been published in ecancermedicalscience, an open access oncology
journal, and is authored by researchers from King’s College London and Guy’s
and St. Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, London.

There had
been some speculation that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such
as ibuprofen might make things worse for some COVID-19 patients, but the
researchers did not find evidence to support this statement.

Other types
of drugs such as TNF blockers and JAK inhibitors, used to treat arthritis or
other forms of inflammation, were also found to be safe to use. Another class
of drug known as anti-interleukin-6 agents is being investigated for helping to
fight COVID-19, although there is no conclusive proof yet.

researchers found that low amounts of prednisolone or tacrolimus therapy may be
helpful in treating COVID-19. Co- author, Dr Sophie Papa, a medical oncologist
and immunologist said: “Current evidence suggests that low dose
prednisolone (a steroid used to treat allergies) and tacrolimus therapy (an
immunosuppressive drug given to patients who have had an organ transplant) may
have beneficial impact on the course of coronavirus infections. However further
investigation is needed.”

As more
contract the disease, researchers will continue to investigate how it interacts
with commonly used medications and make further guidance recommendations.

SOURCE: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200330152143.htm

REFERENCE: Russell et
al: COVID-19 and treatment with NSAIDs and corticosteroids: should we be
limiting their use in the clinical setting? ecancermedicalscience, 2020;