As the coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, scientists have made various discoveries that could help in dealing with the infection. One startling discovery made by French scientists is that Ibuprofen and other painkillers might worsen the condition of a coronavirus patient.

French Health Minister Oliver Veran posted on social media that “taking anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, cortisone...) could be an aggravating factor of the infection,” Veran posted on Twitter, according to CNN.

In lieu of ibuprofen, Veran recommended paracetamol to control a patient’s fever. “If you have a fever, take paracetamol,” the French Health Minister added. “If you are already on anti-inflammatory drugs or in doubt, ask your doctor for advice.”

Aside from Veran’s tweet, the French government also reported that the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen has been linked to “grave adverse effects” among “patients affected by COVID-19, in potential or confirmed cases.”

“We repeat that the treatment of a fever or of pain linked to COVID-19 or to any other respiratory viral disease should be paracetamol,” the French Health Ministry’s new guidelines said.

However, Veran’s recommendation has been criticized by other health experts. The contention is that there is not enough publicly available evidence to suggest that a link exists between ibuprofen use and its adverse effects on those infected with the coronavirus.

“Deeply concerned about this bold statement,” University of St Andrews Infection and Global Health Division researcher Muge Cevik wrote on Twitter. “There's no scientific evidence I am aware of that ibuprofen [causes worse] outcomes in #COVID19.”

However, other experts noted that Veran’s recommendation is in line with the general guidance on anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen in some countries.

“There is a good reason to avoid ibuprofen as it may exacerbate acute kidney injury brought on by any severe illness, including severe COVID-19 disease,” Rupert Beale, group leader of Francis Crick Institute’s Cell Biology of Infection, explained. “There isn't yet any widely accepted additional reason to avoid it for COVID-19.”

Associate Professor of Epidemiology at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Charlotte Warren-Gash also believes that there’s logic to Veran’s recommendation. “Most deaths from COVID-19 have been among older people and those with underlying health conditions such as cardiovascular disease,” Warren-Gash said. “We already know that NSAIDs should be prescribed with caution for people who have underlying health conditions.”

Electron Microscopy of Coronavirus This is an Electron Microscopy of Coronavirus. Murphy Medical Associates