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NSAIDs and covid-19: key messages for primary care

Written by | 4 Sep 2020 | 'In Discussion With'

Article written by Christine Clark

Patients could self-treat covid-19 symptoms with aspirin and GPs should consider prescribing indomethacin, according to retired GP and researcher, Dr Colin Brown.

Covid-19 is associated with musculoskeletal pain and chest pain with inspiratory effort, and so aspirin could properly be used as an analgesic, with suitable gastroprotection. “If it also treats this cough, as we suspect, then this is something that people should be encouraged to report”, says Dr Brown. “It is not impossible that the effect of aspirin on kinin-induced cough, such as that caused by Covid-19, has been hiding in plain sight all along”, he adds.

Prescribers are in a position to prescribe indomethacin for symptoms. The additional anti-viral action of indomethacin may also be beneficial.  

Community pharmacists should suggest full-dose aspirin for pain, together with suitable gastroprotection. Both community pharmacists and GPs should also draw attention to the possible beneficial effect on the cough being unproven, so that it can be reported pending formal trials.

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