Dr Hilary discusses ibuprofen as possible COVID-19 treatment

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NHS guidance says: “It’s safe to take paracetamol with other types of painkiller that don’t contain paracetamol, such as ibuprofen.

“Do not take paracetamol alongside other medicines that contain paracetamol. If you take two different medicines that contain paracetamol, there’s a risk of overdose”.

Just like other medicines paracetamol can cause side effects.

However, these are rare say the NHS.

Nevertheless, it is something that could occur.

This is why on every leaflet of paracetamol there will be a list of potential side effects of the medication and instructions on what to do in the event they are experienced.

If a side effect is experienced that isn’t present on the leaflet, it is possible to notify the government of its occurrence through the Yellow Card Scheme.

The Yellow Card Scheme was launched in 1964 as a way for people to report side effects of medications.

58 years on from its introduction and the scheme continues to this day.

Once a report has been submitted, it will be reviewed by the MHRA who will decide whether or not it requires action.

During the pandemic, a Covid specific Yellow Card Scheme was set up in order that side effects or problems with Covid-related medications and devices could be reported.

Whether this scheme continues into the future is yet to be decided on by the government.

What has been decided by the government is the cutting of funding into one of its most effective data collecting tools.

In recent weeks the government has decided to cancel funding into the Zoe Covid Study App.

Developed by King’s College London and Professor Tim Spector, the app allowed people to input their symptoms on a daily basis.

Using the data collected, the government was able to track where Covid was and the symptoms it was eliciting in patients.

Responding to the news on their website, the Study said: “From April 2022, the Study will no longer receive funding.

“We’re all really disappointed with this news but have been blown away by the huge number of responses we’ve had from our contributors offering their support.”

Despite the absence of government funding the Study intends to continue: “until a longer-term option is secured”.

In response to the cancellation of funding for the ZOE Study a petition has been launched asking the government not to reduce funding for Covid research.

Launched by Neil Michael Wyatt the petition says: “The UKHSA has put millions of pounds into supporting these projects, which have provided reliable and unbiased sources of data on the progress of the Covid pandemic.

“The cost benefit ratio of further support for these projects is huge and is the sort of action that only government can take”.

It is concern of the development of new variants and the UK’s lack of ability to respond to them that is concerning scientists and doctors alike.

Despite these concerns, the government remains confident it will spot the emergence of new variants despite reducing its ability to spot and track the virus.

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