Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) are a type of medication used to treat pain and fever. NSAIDs are available over the counter (ibuprofen and naproxen) and by prescription. Many patients with arthritis use NSAIDs on an intermittent or regular basis to treat joint pain and stiffness.

We have received many questions regarding media reports that NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, may worsen the illness of patients infected with COVID-19. This concern has not been proven in a scientific study.  Currently, there is no direct scientific evidence connecting the use of NSAIDs with worsening COVID-19 symptoms. The FDA and other scientific agencies are investigating this issue further and will communicate publicly when more information is available.

Based on the information currently available, we recommend for patients requiring anti-inflammatories to control pain related to arthritis, to continue to use NSAIDs as needed. As always, acetaminophen, which is NOT an NSAID, is a good option for treatment of pain and fever, as long as you are sure not to exceed a dose of 3,000mg in a 24-hour period. Because NSAIDs and acetaminophen have different mechanisms of action, they can be taken together, or can be taken in an alternating fashion.

Please note, these recommendations are based on the currently available scientific information and will be updated as more information becomes available.