Should Ibuprofen Be Used To Treat Common Virus?

Mother-of-three Hayley Lyons published shocking pictures of her young son’s severe rash and blisters after suffering with chicken pox.

She said her son was affected with the life-threatening condition sepsis after he took Nurofen on the advice of four doctors.

Nurofen contains ibuprofen – which is often prescribed to treat a high temperature.

Septicaemia is a deadly strain of blood poisoning and can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

Should children be given ibuprofen?

Dr Adam Simon, chief medical officer at Push Doctor, the digital doctor’s service said: “While this poor child’s case is particularly shocking, it’s quite an extreme example of the possible side effects ibuprofen can cause if it’s given to children with chickenpox.

“Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory, which means taking it will reduce swelling.

“However, it’s important to remember that this swelling is often the body’s way of fighting an infection.

“While ibuprofen may deal with the short-term pain, it can leave the body open to more harmful infections, such as septicaemia.

“Ibuprofen doesn’t cause these infections, but it does provide an environment where they’re more likely to occur.

“For this reason, it’s best not to take any risks.

“If your child’s chickenpox symptoms are making them uncomfortable, you can use paracetamol to soothe a fever – just be sure to ask your pharmacist about the correct strength and dosage, as too much can be dangerous.

“Products such as calamine lotion to deal with itching.”

A spokesman for Nurofen said: “We take the health of our consumers very seriously.

“We were made aware of Lewis’ case back in April 2016 and were very sorry to hear about his situation.

“The NHS advises paracetamol is the preferred painkiller for treating the associated symptoms of chickenpox.

“This is due to a very small risk of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, causing adverse skin reactions during chickenpox.

“However, reactions of this type are extremely rare.”

NHS Choices said the best painkiller to try is paracetamol, as it's safe for most people to take – including pregnant women and children over two months of age.

It said: “Special liquid versions are available for young children and babies.

“Ibuprofen is an alternative if you can't take paracetamol, although it's not suitable for everyone and shouldn't be given to children with chickenpox.

“Never give aspirin to a child under 16 as it can be dangerous for them.”

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