When a pathogen enters the body, the body responds by raising the core temperature and rushing inflammatory cytokines to the place of invasion. The purpose behind this is to contain the invasion. Bacteria and viruses are made of protein. Protein cannot handle high temperatures and will denature. By raising the core-temperature the body can kill the bacteria or virus before it has an opportunity to create an infection (Marieb, 2014, pp. 828-835).
Ibuprofen is part of a class of drug known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s)(Bryant & Knights, 2015). The way they work is by inhibiting the cyclo-oxygenase (COX) pathways. By inhibiting the COX pathways ibuprofen inhibits the formation of prostaglandins and thereby reduces the sensation of pain, fever and inflammation (Bushra & Aslam, 2010). There are 2 COX pathways, the COX 1 pathway is also responsible for the repair of the mucous membranes lining your gut and stomach (Stoker, 2013, p. 694). If the pathway is inhibited, it is unable to perform this function. For this reason a common side effect of regular Ibuprofen use is nausea, digestive cramping and heartburn (Bryant & Knights, 2015, pp. 331-333).
Doctors in France have noted that the COVID-19 virus is able to progress more quickly when Ibuprofen is administered when symptoms first appear of the infection (Day, 2020a). Health authorities claim that the Ibuprofen is not the cause of the rapid progression of the illness, but rather the interference of the body’s natural defence mechanism (Day, 2020b). By reducing the fever and inflammation, the virus is able to progress in the body more rapidly.
From a Naturopathic perspective we consider fever as your friend in combating viral infections. It is vital that a diagnosis for the cause of the fever is found first. If the cause of the fever is a virus, sweating it out is the best course of action (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 145-148). Disease progresses because we soldier on, mask the symptoms and continue doing the thing that is causing our bodies distress. We have stopped listening to our bodies. Our bodies are amazing and have the ability to repair themselves if we listen to what they are asking for.
Herbal medicine is designed to teach you how to listen to your body again and promote the bodies innate ability to heal itself. Herbal Medicine stimulates this healing response, to help you to be well, without side effects.
Bone, K., & Mills, S. (2013). Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine (2nd ed.): Elsevier Health Sciences U.K.
Bryant, B., & Knights, K. (2015). Pharmacology For Health Professionals (4th ed.). Chatswood NSW Australia: Elsevier.
Bushra, R., & Aslam, N. (2010). An overview of clinical pharmacology of Ibuprofen. Oman medical journal, 25(3), 155-1661. doi:10.5001/omj.2010.49
Day, M. (2020a). Covid-19: European drugs agency to review safety of ibuprofen. BMJ, 368, m1168. doi:10.1136/bmj.m1168
Day, M. (2020b). Covid-19: ibuprofen should not be used for managing symptoms, say doctors and scientists. BMJ, 368, m1086. doi:10.1136/bmj.m1086
Marieb, E. N., Hoehn, K. N. (2014). Human anatomy & physiology (Pearson new international edition, Ninth edition ed. Vol. 9). Essex: Pearson Education Limited.
Stoker, H. S. (2013). General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry (2013 ed., Vol. Sixth Edition, pp. 559). Belmont, CA 94002-3098 USA: Brook/Cole.