Almost 1 in 5 not treating everyday pain symptoms during Covid- 19


Reckitt Benckiser launches Share the Facts campaign with Dr. Sinead Beirne

It’s been the most widely reported health story in the world, but new research* commissioned by Reckitt Benckiser (RB) reveals that some of the Irish public are feeling confused about information on Covid-19

According to the RB study of 1,044 adults, 45% of people say they feel overwhelmed by the amount of information on Covid-19 and a third (33%) are finding it difficult to determine what information is fact or fiction.

Over a quarter (28%) of the people polled found that the guidance and recommendations on what should and shouldn’t be taken to relieve any coronavirus-like symptoms, may have resulted in people putting up with pain. Over a third (36%) claim to have largely ignored everyday pain symptoms such as headaches, toothaches and joint pain during the pandemic and worryingly around 1 in 5 (18%) have avoided treating pain altogether.

Leaving pain untreated has resulted in 23% of those who have not treated symptoms of pain since the Covid-19 pandemic began, experiencing worsening of their symptoms and ultimately having to seek medical treatment.

Some of the common non Covid-19 ailments that people have avoided taking pain relief for are:

  1. Back pain (40%)
  2. Joint pain (29%)
  3. Toothache (21%)

The reluctance to treat pain during this time could stem from the confusion around what medicines can be used to treat symptoms of Covid-19.

Over a quarter (28%) are unsure whether ibuprofen can be taken to relieve some of the recognised symptoms of coronavirus such as fever or headache, of which 41% have read contradictory advice on the use of ibuprofen.

The picture is even more confused for parents. 27% of parents polled believe there is too much contradictory information on treating Covid-19 symptoms in children and 30% of parents are confused about whether they can take ibuprofen for potential coronavirus symptoms, such as fever and headache. 21% of those polled with children under 18 admit that they have left pain untreated during the pandemic.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, information appeared in the media which claimed that anyone with confirmed or suspected symptoms of COVID-19 should not take ibuprofen to relieve their symptoms. This claim has been widely refuted by medical experts and organisations such as the World Health Organisation[1], the HSE[2], the HPRA[3] and the NHS[4] in the UK.

Share the Facts

To help the public better understand the facts and dispel the myths surrounding effective pain management during the Covid-19 pandemic, RB has launched ‘Share the Facts’, a new campaign featuring GP Dr. Sinead Beirne.

As part of this campaign, Dr Sinead Beirne will appear in a video where she will use her clinical expertise to share facts and dispel myths around effective pain and fever management during Covid-19.

Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Dr. Sinead Beirne said: ‘I am delighted to work with Reckitt Benckiser on this campaign to educate on the facts surrounding Covid-19 and to remind people on the treatments for effective pain and fever management.

People are confused and overwhelmed by the sheer volume and at times, conflicting sources of information that exists on effective fever and pain management during Covid-19. In particular, parents are concerned around what they can and can’t give their children at this time.

This confusion has resulted in people not treating symptoms which is really concerning as pain such as back ache and toothache can be quite debilitating.

That is why this video series is so important. Our aim is to cut through all the noise and arm people with the facts so they can effectively treat and manage fever and pain.

There has been a lot of unsubstantiated information about pain relief products recently, including claims that taking ibuprofen could be dangerous in people with Covid-19. Based on current evidence, ibuprofen or paracetamol are effective at treating pain and fever whether Covid-19 related or not.”

Disclaimer:  Dr Sinead Beirne does not endorse any medication brands


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