Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Are medicines affecting our response to infections like COVID-19?




 News Release 1-Mar-2022
Some common drugs can help and others hinder immune responses
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Sydney


The largest clinical review of immune responses to paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioid analgesics, with a focus on infectious diseases, has provided insights into unintended impacts of these commonly used medicines. The findings highlight the potential for some of these medicines to join the fight against old and new infectious diseases.


 Key findings of the clinical review

    For pain: Morphine suppresses key cells of the immune system and increases the risk of infection, particularly after cancer surgery.
    For fever: Antipyretics – e.g. Paracetamol [acetaminophen], Ibuprofen, Aspirin – can reduce the desirable immune response when taken for vaccination.
    Aspirin could be an affordable and accessible therapeutic option for tuberculosis – which mainly afflicts poor countries, with beneficial results shown in animals and humans.
    Anti-inflammatory medicine indomethacin may reduce viral replication in Covid-19 but large-scale human trials are needed.


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