Compliance With Ethical Standards
No sources of funding were used to prepare this manuscript.
Nicholas Moore has provided expert advice to pharmaceutical companies and regulators concerning risks associated with low-dose NSAIDs and other analgesics over the last30 years. Bruce Carleton, Patrick Blin, Pauline Bosco-Levy, and Cecile Droz have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this manuscript.
Take Acetaminophen Instead Of Commonly Used Painkillers Such As Aspirin Ibuprofen Doctor Recommends
Commonly used anti-inflammatory painkillers may increase the risk of heart attacks when taken during a cold or flu, a new study suggests.
The study was based on data on nearly 10,000 patients with an average age of 73 who were hospitalized for a heart attack, also called acute myocardial infarction, in Taiwan from 2005 to 2011.
Previous studies have shown an increased risk for heart attacks during a respiratory infection, such as cold or influenza, as well as with use of certain anti-inflammatory pain relievers. But the interaction between the infections and class of painkillers wasn’t examined.
The non-steroidal anti-inflammatories or NSAIDS include Aspirin, naproxen , ibuprofen and arthritis medications such as celecoxib .
Use of NSAIDs during a respiratory infection was associated with a three-fold increased risk of heart attack, Yao-Chun Wen from National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei and colleagues reported in Thursday’s issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
But people suffering from a cold or flu commonly reach for over-the-counter painkillers such as Aspirin or naproxen to relieve fever and aches.
The risk was higher when NSAIDS were given intravenously in the hospital.
Can Ibuprofen Worsen Covid
French health authorities recently rocked the world by announcing that anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen could exacerbate COVID-19, the infection caused by coronavirus. The proclamation made headlines in prominent news outlets and social media alike. Even the World Health Organization first supported the claim and then flip-flopped 24 hours later.
Which is true?
Dr. Otto Yang, a world-renowned infectious disease expert at UCLA Health, helps us sort fact from fiction.
Q. Can ibuprofen aggravate symptoms for COVID-19 or any infectious illness?
A. There is no scientific evidence that ibuprofen causes worsening of COVID-19.
Q. So why have French health authorities claimed that anti-inflammatory drugs increase the risk of complications during fever or infection?
A. This is mostly theoretical. The thinking is that inflammation, which contributes to symptoms like fever and muscle aches, is part of the bodys immune response against infection — and if you reduce inflammation, you might reduce your immune response, too. Whether this is a significant effect or not in patients is debated.
Doctors observations in small numbers of patients suggest that ibuprofen could slow recovery from bacterial pneumonia — or increase the severity of some viral infections like chickenpox — but these aren’t careful prospective scientific studies.
Q. How does this theory apply to COVID-19?
Q. If someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, what should they know about choosing a pain medicine?
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What To Expect At Home
You will still have symptoms of pneumonia after you leave the hospital.
- Your cough will slowly get better over 7 to 14 days.
- Sleeping and eating may take up to a week to return to normal.
- Your energy level may take 2 weeks or more to return to normal.
You will need to take time off work. For a while, you might not be able to do other things that you are used to doing.
What Is Ibuprofen Used For
Ibuprofen can be used for the short-term relief of fever, mild to moderate pain and inflammation .
Ibuprofen might also ease some of the symptoms of:
There can be extra risks if you take ibuprofen when you are over 65 – or have an gastro-oesophageal reflux disease or an ulcer, so discuss this with your doctor. Ibuprofen, like all NSAIDs, can also make heart, liver or kidney disease worse. Talk to your doctor before taking ibuprofen if you have asthma, are already taking low-dose aspirin to prevent heart disease, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Serious side effects of ibuprofen that need immediate medical attention include:
- asthma, wheezing and shortness of breath
- swelling of the face, lips or tongue, which may cause difficulty breathing or swallowing
- dark vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- black stools that can indicate bleeding
This is not a full list of side effects. For more information, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Or, if you’re experiencing a serious or life-threatening side effect, immediately call triple zero .
Read Also: Difference Between Viral And Bacterial Pneumonia
When To See A Doctor
Anyone who has difficulty breathing should seek medical help for diagnosis and treatment.
It is essential to follow any medical treatment plan that the doctor recommends and request additional help if the symptoms worsen or do not improve after a few days.
A doctor can also advise on some ways to prevent pneumonia from developing again.
It is not always possible to prevent pneumonia, but some lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of developing it or experiencing severe symptoms.
- avoiding air pollution, if possible
- managing stress levels and getting enough sleep
- practicing good hand-washing to reduce the risk of infection
- following any instructions the doctor recommends for staying healthy
In the case of COVID-19, experts advise physical distancing from other people to prevent the spread of the virus.
Healthful lifestyle habits can help strengthen the body to fight off infections, including those that lead to pneumonia.
Can Naproxen Be Used To Treat Coronavirus
Naproxen, which is known as Aleve, is another NSAID that can reduce inflammation and lower your fever. It cannot treat COVID-19 itself, but it can certainly help you feel better. Naproxen is similar to ibuprofen, except that it lasts longer. For many people, that means a single pill can keep your temperature down for up to 12 hours and help stave off body aches. But remember, if your doctor has told you not to take medications like ibuprofen or naproxen before, you shouldnt take either one now.
COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly across the globe, so some information may be outdated from our publish date. For our latest updates, read our most recent coronavirus coverage.
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Covid Pneumonia: How Long Does Recovery Take
You’re likely familiar with the common, mild symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, dry cough and fatigue.
But, in more severe cases, COVID-19 can also cause serious complications, including pneumonia.
“We still have a lot to learn about COVID-19, particularly about the havoc it can wreak on the lungs and the pneumonia it causes, which is often now called COVID pneumonia,” says Dr. Rayman Lee, pulmonologist at Houston Methodist.
That being said, there’s still plenty that experts like Dr. Lee do know about COVID pneumonia, including about how long it can take to fully recover from it.
Results In Context Of Other Studies
There was no effect of either dosing advice or advice to inhale with steam on symptom severityneither the estimates nor the lower confidence limits reached the defined level for clinical significanceand no intervention modified antibiotic use. Patients with uncomplicated lower respiratory infections were more likely to benefit from advice to use ibuprofen, and a recent trial showed that ibuprofen was as effective or possibly more effective than antibiotics . Children might also selectively benefit from ibuprofen. Those aged 17 and over had slightly worse symptom control with ibuprofen, although the effect was small and did not reach the threshold for clinical significance. We could not show superiority of the combined strategy, unlike a previous trial in children,11 but our trial had a pragmatic open design and was not an efficacy study, which is more likely to provide realistic estimates of effectiveness in daily practice. We could not confirm any benefit for temperature control either overall or in subgroups of patients with a higher temperature, unlike a previous efficacy trial in children.5 This could be because our trial population was much less selected and we used a broader measure rather than time to fever resolution.
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Signs Of Pneumonia Vaccine Side Effects
As with any vaccination, there are potential side effects of the pneumonia vaccination. Common side effects include:
Injection site soreness
As with most shots and vaccinations, you may experience pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site .
Less than 1% of people who receive a pneumonia vaccine develop a fever. If your temperature is above 100.4 F , you have a fever.
Irritability is a feeling of agitation. When you’re feeling irritable, you’re more likely to become frustrated or upset. In children, this may present as fussiness.
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will listen to your lungs. Tell him or her if you have other health conditions. Give your provider a complete list of all medicines you have taken recently. You may need any of the following:
- Blood tests may show signs of an infection or the bacteria causing your pneumonia. Blood tests can also show how much oxygen is in your blood.
- A chest x-ray may show signs of infection in your lungs.
- Pulse oximetry measures the amount of oxygen in your blood.
- A mucus sample is collected and tested for the germ that is causing your pneumonia. It can help your healthcare provider choose the best medicine to treat the infection.
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What Is The Recovery Time For Covid Pneumonia
Dr. Lee: Regardless of what causes it, regaining strength after pneumonia can take quite a long time from several weeks to many months.
During COVID pneumonia recovery, your body first has to repair the damage caused to the lungs then it has to deal with clearing leftover fluid and debris and, finally, scarring until the tissue is fully healed over all of which come with unpleasant symptoms.
For the 15% of infected individuals who develop moderate to severe COVID-19 and are admitted to the hospital for a few days and require oxygen, the average recovery time ranges between three to six weeks.
For the 5% who develop severe or critical illness, recovery can take much longer.
Everyone’s recovery is unique and depends on:
- Your overall health
- Whether you have preexisting conditions
- The severity of your infection
If you are recovering from COVID pneumonia and experiencing persistent problems, I recommend seeing your doctor for a follow-up evaluation. If your recovery is prolonged, he or she may recommend a specialized program, such as pulmonary rehabilitation, to help get you back on track.
In some cases, patients will have lingering symptoms after the initial COVID-19 infection, often called post-COVID syndrome. These “long haulers” can have variety of problems, since the virus can attack not only the lungs, but also the heart, kidneys and brain. Your doctor can also help you manage these lingering symptoms.
Will My Child Be Given Antibiotics
That depends on whether their pneumonia is caused by bacteria or a virus.
If it is likely that your child has bacterial pneumonia, they will be given antibiotic tablets or liquid to fight the bacteria. They will usually improve a lot within the first 48 hours – but theyll probably continue to cough for longer. Its important to finish the whole course of antibiotics, even if your child seems better.
If your childs pneumonia is caused by a virus then antibiotics wont work.
Its not always easy to tell if pneumonia is caused by bacteria or a virus. To be on the safe side, your doctor may decide to give antibiotics if they cant be sure of the cause.
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Signs And Symptoms Of A Chest Infection
The main symptoms of a chest infection can include:
- coughing up yellow or green phlegm , or coughing up blood
- breathlessness or rapid and shallow breathing
- chest pain or tightness
- feeling confused and disorientated
You may also experience more general symptoms of an infection, such as a headache, fatigue, sweating, loss of appetite, or joint and muscle pain.
Are There Alternatives To Ibuprofen
For treating fever, an alternative to ibuprofen is paracetamol.
For pain or inflammation-related swelling, ask your doctor or pharmacist for an alternative if ibuprofen is not suitable for you. Your health professional may suggest you try:
- another medicine from the NSAID family
- a medicine that combines codeine with paracetamol or ibuprofen in the same tablet
If your pain is severe, your doctor may prescribe you a stronger pain reliever.
This page does not give you all the information about ibuprofen. Please read the pack label for more details, and ask your doctor or pharmacist important questions.
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A Lukewarm Bath Or Compress
Soaking the body in lukewarm water may help cool it down.
If it is not possible to take a bath, apply towels or washcloths to the body after dunking them in lukewarm water and wringing them out. This may help the body cool. When the towels warm up, dip them in the water again and reapply.
Chills are often a secondary symptom of a fever. The following home remedies may help ease chills:
Will My Child Need To Go To Hospital
Your doctor will assess if you child should be looked after in hospital based on their symptoms and other factors, including their age. Babies under 6 months old are more likely to be admitted to hospital.
Your doctor will take into account if your child:
- has difficulty breathing
- is dehydrated because they wont feed or drink
- cant take antibiotics through their mouth
- is breathing very fast
- has low oxygen levels in their blood
- is not responding to the prescribed antibiotics
- has another lung, heart or immune deficiency condition
In hospital your child may be given antibiotics through a drip. If they need it, they may be given oxygen to help them breathe more easily. If they are dehydrated, they may also be given fluids through a drip.
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How Can I Prevent Pneumonia
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and water every time you wash your hands. Rub your soapy hands together, lacing your fingers. Use the fingers of one hand to scrub under the nails of the other hand. Wash for at least 20 seconds. Rinse with warm, running water for several seconds. Then dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel. Use hand sanitizer that contains alcohol if soap and water are not available. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands first.
- Cover a sneeze or cough. Use a tissue that covers your mouth and nose. Throw the tissue away in a trash can right away. Use the bend of your arm if a tissue is not available. Wash your hands well with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer. Do not stand close to anyone who is sneezing or coughing.
- Stay away from others until you are well. Do not go to work or other activities. Wait until your symptoms are gone or your healthcare provider says it is okay to return.
- Ask about vaccines you may need. You may need a vaccine to help prevent pneumonia. Get an influenza vaccine every year as soon as recommended, usually in September or October. Flu viruses change, so it is important to get a yearly flu vaccine.
Appendix A: Search Terms
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Caring For Your Symptoms At Home
Many chest infections aren’t serious and get better within a few days or weeks. You won’t usually need to see your GP, unless your symptoms suggest you have a more serious infection .
While you recover at home, you can improve your symptoms by:
- getting plenty of rest
- drinking lots of fluid to prevent dehydration and to loosen the mucus in your lungs, making it easier to cough up
- treating headaches, fever and aches and pains with painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- drinking a warm drink of honey and lemon to relieve a sore throat caused by persistent coughing
- raising your head up with extra pillows while you’re sleeping to make breathing easier
- using an air humidifier or inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water to ease your cough
- stopping smoking
Avoid cough medicines, as there’s little evidence they work, and coughing actually helps you clear the infection more quickly by getting rid of the phlegm from your lungs.
Antibiotics aren’t recommended for many chest infections, because they only work if the infection is caused by bacteria, rather than a virus.
Your GP will usually only prescribe antibiotics if they think you have pneumonia, or you’re at risk of complications such as fluid building up around the lungs .
If there’s a flu outbreak in your local area and you’re at risk of serious infection, your GP may also prescribe antiviral medication.
Read more about treating bronchitis and treating pneumonia
Why Is There Such Controversy About Taking Ibuprofen For Probable/suspected Covid
Concern was expressed by Frances Health Minister Olivier Veran in a tweet on March 14th 2020 that suggested that anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and cortisone could be an aggravating factor in people with COVID-19.
On the same day, the French government reported that NSAIDs, the family of drugs that include ibuprofen, were linked with “grave adverse effects” in patients affected by Covid-19.
This prompted the WHO to issue a statement on the 18th of March 2020 which recommended that people suffering COVID-19 symptoms should avoid taking ibuprofen after French officials warned that anti-inflammatory drugs could worsen the effects of the virus. Less than 24 hours later, the WHO had retracted that statement on its official twitter account, stating The WHO does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen.
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