There is no evidence that taking vital medicines for high blood pressure and other conditions will create somehow increase COVID-19 complications or the chances of contracting the virus, Superintendent for Public Health Charmaine Gauci has said.
“There have been a number of studies that show that there is no evidence that high-blood pressure medicines have a link to complications if you catch COVID-19. I would rather make an appeal and warning for those who have high blood pressure to continue taking their medicine. Otherwise, they could have a heart attack or a stroke,” she said.
The same, she said, applies to other anti-inflammatory or pain relief medications, such as ibuprofen.
Gauci was referring to the European Medicines Authority’s recent declarations on the issue after some began questioning whether some medicines could have an adverse effect on CVOID-19 patients, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs, or sartan medicines).
ACE inhibitors and ARBs are most commonly used for treating patients with high blood pressure, heart failure or kidney disease.
“It is important that patients do not interrupt their treatment with ACE inhibitors or ARBs and there is no need to switch to other medicines. There is currently no evidence from clinical or epidemiological studies that establishes a link between ACE inhibitors or ARBs and the worsening of COVID-19,” the EMA said.
EMA’s statement was backed up with evidence from experts in the treatment of heart and blood pressure disorders, including the European Society of Cardiology.
The speculation that ACE-inhibitors or ARBs treatment can make infections worse in the context of COVID-19 is not supported by clinical evidence, as is the case with ibuprofen.
The EMA and the Malta Medicines Authority will still continue monitoring any developments.
The total cases of coronavirus in Malta have now reached 156 after five new cases were confirmed this morning.
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