A peak of Google searches for all the four over-the-counter analgesics was found between the 10th and 14th week of the 2020 in Italy, anticipating by approximately 1–2 weeks the first peak of new weekly COVID-19 cases in our country. More specifically, the ratio of Google Trends scores throughout these 5 weeks was the highest for ibuprofen (7.7 ± 8.0), followed by acetaminophen (2.6 ± 1.5), while the increase of Google searches for naproxen (1.6 ± 0.7) and aspirin (1.2 ± 0.4) was found to be cumulatively lower. Notably, a significant correlation was found between new COVID-19 weekly diagnoses in Italy and volume of Google searches during the same week for ibuprofen (r = 0.41; 95% confidence interval [CI], .10 to .84; P = .010), acetaminophen (r = 0.59; 95% CI, .34 to .77; P < .001) and aspirin (r = 0.38; 95% CI, .07 to .62; P = .018), but not for naproxen (r = 0.13; 95% CI, −.20 to .43; P = .433), throughout the study period of 46 weeks, between February and November. The volume of Google searches for over-the-counter analgesics such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin has been significantly associated with the epidemic trend, thus reinforcing the concept that governments and public health authorities shall be proactive in preventing possible shortage of these types of drugs.

Internet Searches for Over-the-Counter Analgesics During the COVID-19 Pandemic Outbreak in Italy

Lippi, Giuseppe
;
Mattiuzzi, Camilla
2021-01-01

Abstract

A peak of Google searches for all the four over-the-counter analgesics was found between the 10th and 14th week of the 2020 in Italy, anticipating by approximately 1–2 weeks the first peak of new weekly COVID-19 cases in our country. More specifically, the ratio of Google Trends scores throughout these 5 weeks was the highest for ibuprofen (7.7 ± 8.0), followed by acetaminophen (2.6 ± 1.5), while the increase of Google searches for naproxen (1.6 ± 0.7) and aspirin (1.2 ± 0.4) was found to be cumulatively lower. Notably, a significant correlation was found between new COVID-19 weekly diagnoses in Italy and volume of Google searches during the same week for ibuprofen (r = 0.41; 95% confidence interval [CI], .10 to .84; P = .010), acetaminophen (r = 0.59; 95% CI, .34 to .77; P < .001) and aspirin (r = 0.38; 95% CI, .07 to .62; P = .018), but not for naproxen (r = 0.13; 95% CI, −.20 to .43; P = .433), throughout the study period of 46 weeks, between February and November. The volume of Google searches for over-the-counter analgesics such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin has been significantly associated with the epidemic trend, thus reinforcing the concept that governments and public health authorities shall be proactive in preventing possible shortage of these types of drugs.
Internet, Over-the-Counter, Analgesics COVID-19
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1038857
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