Possible Ibuprofen Link to Disease Cited
Seattle health officials have warned doctors not to prescribe ibuprofen and similar drugs to children with chickenpox because of a possible link to group A streptococcus, often mistakenly called flesh-eating bacteria.
Officials with the Seattle-King County Health Department said late Thursday that they plan to investigate the possible link after looking into records of 12 children with chickenpox who developed the disease during the past year.
In more than half the cases, the children had been given ibuprofen or similar anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve fever and pain, according to an article to be published next week in the Health Department’s monthly newsletter.
County health officials said they are studying whether ibuprofen, available without a prescription under such brand names as Motrin and Advil, can accelerate the progress of the sometimes deadly bacterial infection.
“This is a cautionary move because of the commonality that was discovered in looking at the records of these kids,” said Dean Forbes, a spokesman for Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle, where the children were treated. “No causal link was discovered.”
In the Seattle cases, the children apparently contracted the tissue-destroying disease when a virulent form of group A streptococcus bacteria entered their body through chickenpox sores and then spread rapidly.