March 16, 2020 / 1:48 PM / 15 days ago

UPDATE 1-No evidence ibuprofen bad for COVID-19 patients -Nurofen-maker

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March 16 (Reuters) - Nurofen producer Reckitt Benckiser sought to quash warnings against taking the drug on Monday, saying it was not aware of any evidence that the pills' active ingredient ibuprofen adversely impacted patients suffering from COVID-19.

The company's statement followed a warning here by France's health minister on Saturday that people should not use anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen if they have coronavirus-like symptoms.

Olivier Véran, France's health minister who is also a qualified doctor, said in a tweet on Saturday: "The taking of anti-inflammatories [ibuprofen, cortisone … ] could be a factor in aggravating the infection. In case of fever, take paracetamol. If you are already taking anti-inflammatory drugs, ask your doctor's advice."

Nurofen, one of Reckitt's more popular drugs, contains 200 mg of Ibuprofen as its active ingredient in each tablet and is indicated for "effective pain and inflammation relief and reducing fever," according to the company's website.

"RB has neither received new safety information nor been involved in the evaluation of any adverse events regarding the use of ibuprofen in COVID-19," the company said on Monday.

"Appropriate use of ibuprofen and paracetamol is still currently being recommended by most European health authorities as part of the symptomatic treatment of COVID-19."

The number of deaths in France from the coronavirus increased by more than a third on Sunday to 127 and over 5,400 have been infected, according to the country's health authorities. (reut.rs/2TVwxKR) (Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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