Uncovering the Truth About Fever and Ibuprofen in COVID-19

Belinda Keegan


Dr. Jonathan Chimel, an emergency physician and medical toxicologist at the Mount Sinai Hospital, recently discussed fever and the use of ibuprofen for fever in relation to COVID-19. In this article, the benefits and risks associated with fever are explored.

What is a Fever?

A fever is a body’s response to an infection or illness. It is characterized by an increase in body temperature setpoint to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The number itself isn’t as important as the underlying cause of the infection; whether it be viral or bacterial in nature.

Evolutionary Studies on Fevers

Evolutionary studies have found that the fever response is present across many species, suggesting that it has some beneficial purpose for fighting off infections. This has been further demonstrated through human studies which suggest that fevers may be beneficial for combating infections but taking antipyretic drugs may potentially harm the body’s ability to fight off an infection. However, these studies do not provide evidence either way regarding any significant effects linked to fevers or antipyretic drugs.

Ibuprofen and COVID-19 Concerns

On March 11th, a letter was published in Lancet Respiratory Medicine suggesting there could be a link between ibuprofen use and worsened symptoms related to COVID-19 . Nonetheless, no definitive conclusion can currently be made without further research into this potential association between ibuprofen and COVID-19 symptoms..

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In conclusion, it appears that fevers are beneficial for fighting off infections and can help protect against illness; however taking antipyretic medications can potentially interfere with this process . There are concerns about ibuprofen use in relation to COVID-19 symptoms but more research needs to be done before any definitive conclusions can be drawn.


What is a fever?

A fever is the body's response to an infection. It is a way for the body to fight off the infection by increasing the body's temperature setpoint. Generally, a fever is considered to be a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater.

What are the main types of antipyretic drugs?

The main types of antipyretic drugs are acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Acetaminophen is also known as Tylenol, paracetamol in much of the world, ibuprofen is known as Motrin or Advil and naproxen is known as Aleve in the United States.

What does past research on fevers and fever-reducing medicines suggest?

Past research on fevers and fever-reducing medicines have shown that fevers may be beneficial for the immune response to an infection, but taking fever-reducing medicines may potentially harm the body's ability to fight off an infection.

Is there any concern about the use of ibuprofen for COVID-19?

On March 11th, a letter was published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine suggesting the possibility that ibuprofen could worsen the symptoms of COVID-19. However, it is important to note that this letter is merely a suggestion and more research is needed to confirm this potential association.

What should I do if I have a fever?

If you have a fever, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause of the infection. They will be able to recommend the appropriate treatment and advise on whether to take fever-reducing medicines or not.

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