NSAID use does not increase risk of COVID-19-related death

    Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) does not appear to increase the risk of COVID-19-related death in the general population or in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, according to findings of an analysis conducted by the OpenSAFELY Collaborative on behalf of NHSFootnote 1 England which was published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

    The OpenSAFELY analytical platform and Cox regression analysis were used to investigate the risk of COVID-19-related death in adults prescribed NSAIDs within 4 months prior to March 2020 (current use) versus not currently prescribed NSAIDs, in two cohorts: the general population in England and patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Patients were followed up until 14 June 2020. Hazard ratios (HRs) were adjusted for age, sex, comorbidities, concomitant medication and geographical region.

    In the general population, the risk of COVID-related death was not significantly increased in 536 423 current NSAID users versus 1 927 284 non-users of NSAIDs (HR 0.96; 95% CI 0.80, 1.14). In a cohort of 1 708 781 patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, of whom 10% were current NSAID users, current use of NSAIDs was associated with a significantly reduced risk of COVID-19 related death compared with non-use of NSAIDs (HR 0.78; 95% CI 0.64, 0.94).

    "We found no evidence of a harmful effect of routinely prescribed NSAIDs on COVID-19 related death. People currently prescribed NSAIDs for their long-term conditions should continue their treatment as part of their routine care," concluded the authors.


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      National Health Service


    1. Wong AY, et al. Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and risk of death from COVID-19: an OpenSAFELY cohort analysis based on two cohorts. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases : 12 Jan 2021. Available from: URL: http://doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-219517

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    NSAID use does not increase risk of COVID-19-related death. Reactions Weekly 1840, 7 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40278-021-90150-5

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