Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use and outcomes of COVID-19

The Lancet: Rheumatology May 07, 2021

Early in the pandemic it was suggested that pre-existing use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could lead to increased disease severity in patients with COVID-19. NSAIDs are an important analgesic, particularly in those with rheumatological disease, and are widely available to the general public without prescription.

Using data from 78,674 patients in ISARIC4C, we showed that NSAID use is not associated with higher mortality or increased severity of COVID-19. To our knowledge, our prospective study includes the largest number of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 to date, and adds to the literature on the safety of NSAIDs and in-hospital outcomes. NSAIDs do not appear to increase the risk of worse in-hospital outcomes. NSAIDs are an important analgesic modality and have a vital opioid-sparing role in pain management. Patients and clinicians should be reassured by these findings that NSAIDs are safe in the context of the pandemic.