Dr. Paul Dake is semi-retired; moved to the Pinconning area to be near family and is submitting articles for the Journal. Dr. Dake has an Undergraduate degree in Physiology and M.D. degree, both from Michigan State University, the latter awarded in 1978; immediately thereafter, Family Medicine Residency in Saginaw; solo practice there for 10 years; Family Medicine Residency Faculty in 3 different residency programs through the years; working in Urgent Care facility the last 5 years.
Q: I saw my Family Doctor last week for a blood pressure check & asked about the best way to treat symptoms of suspected COVID-19 virus infection; she told me that I shouldn’t take Motrin (ibuprofen) for the fever & body aches that usually come with it, but she didn’t have time to tell me why. Can you help?
A: I would congratulate your doctor for being so attentive to the medical literature on this topic. This recommendation came from an article in the highly respected British Medical Journal, published on March 17, 2020. The reason for the recommendation you received is that the entire class of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID; ibuprofen & naproxen can be purchased without a prescription, but prescription NSAID’s include [generic names] celecoxib, etodolac, meloxicam, ketorolac, and several others) appears to block chemical reactions in the body that lead to inflammation, which lessens the body aches that are largely caused by inflammation. The problem is that some of those same chemical reactions are crucial to mounting a defense against the COVID-19 virus, causing a person with COVID-19, who is taking NSAID’s, to have much more severe symptoms than they might otherwise have. Also, if you are trying to isolate your elderly relatives from any possible infection and you are taking groceries to their home, it is best to have them leave the package on the front step or in the garage for at least 2 hours, because at this time of year, the combination of passage of time & relatively low temperature will greatly decrease the survival of organisms that you may have left there in preparing & delivering the package, lowering the chance of infecting the recipient of the package. I want to thank Debra B. for her question; if you have any particular topic you would like to hear more about, please message me at email@example.com.