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New Study Concludes No Correlation Between NSAIDS — Including Ibuprofen — and Worsening COVID-19 Outcomes

PLOS Medicine joins growing evidence of safe use of ibuprofen/Advil for COVID-19 symptoms

Mississauga, Ontario - GSK Consumer Healthcare continues to have confidence in its NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) products, including ibuprofen/Advil, to provide safe and effective pain management to Canadians. A new study published in PLOS Medicine, a peer-reviewed, nonprofit, Open Access journal, adds to the growing body of evidence that NSAIDs are not linked to more severe COVID-19 outcomes.[1]

“At GSK, we know thousands of Canadians trust and rely on Advil for fast pain relief, and we hope that this new data provides reassurance that, when used as directed, Advil can be used safely and effectively to temporarily reduce pain,” said Walid Aldoori, Medical Affairs Director, GSK Consumer Healthcare Canada. “As always, the safety and well-being of customers is our top priority. Our ibuprofen products are effectively used by millions across 40 markets globally and have been available as over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for more than 35 years. All our medicines are strictly regulated to ensure they comply with local healthcare authority requirements.”

Current scientific literature does not show that OTC ibuprofen/Advil makes COVID-19 health outcomes worse,[2] and the world’s leading health authorities — including Health Canada, European Medicines Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Health Service — have confirmed there is no evidence to recommend against the use of OTC NSAIDs, including ibuprofen for the treatment of pain or fever associated with COVID-19. [3][4][5][6] Ibuprofen is listed as an essential medicine in the WHO guidelines for relief of mild symptoms associated with COVID-19.[7]

Aldoori continues: “We are continually monitoring and evaluating research published in a broad range of scientific and academic journals around the world that is related to NSAID and ibuprofen use and COVID-19. These publications provide public health authorities and the medical community with an opportunity to review, assess and share knowledge about the safe use of ibuprofen products and are from the fields of infectious disease, pain management, respiratory disease, and public health, among other medical fields. We welcome any further investigation into the use of ibuprofen or other NSAIDs for the treatment of mild COVID-19 symptoms.”

The safety profile of ibuprofen/Advil can be reviewed at www.advil.ca/coronavirus. Please speak directly with your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare provider if you have questions about your individual treatment needs.

About GSK

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. For further information, please visit www.ca.gsk.com.

References

[1] Lund LC, Kristensen KB, Reilev M, et al. Adverse outcomes and mortality in users of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2: A Danish nationwide cohort study. PLoS Med. 2020;17(9):e1003308.

[2] GSK. What you should know about ibuprofen and COVID-19. Available from: https://www.gskhealthpartner.com/en-ca/pain-relief/brands/advil/covid19/. Published 2020. Accessed September 23, 2020.

[3] Health Canada. No scientific evidence that ibuprofen worsens COVID-19 symptoms. Available from: https://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2020/72633a-eng.php. Published March 20, 2020. Accessed September 23, 2020.

[4] European Medicines Agency. EMA gives advice on the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories for COVID-19. Available from: https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/news/ema-gives-advice-use-non-steroidal-anti-inflammatories-covid-19. Published March 18, 2020. Accessed September 23, 2020.

[5] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Can ibuprofen make COVID-19 worse? [video] YouTube. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaifV3CQXKg. Published April 6, 2020. Accessed on October 5, 2020.

[6] The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. COVID-19 rapid guideline: managing symptoms (including at the end of life) in the community. Available from: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng163. Updated April 30, 2020. Accessed September 23, 2020.

[7] World Health Organization. Clinical management of COVID-19. Available from: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/clinical-management-of-covid-19. Published May 27, 2020. Accessed September 23, 2020.

GSK Enquiries:

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