Ibuprofen


Indications

With the opioid painkiller abuse crisis raging, many people have a fresh interest in understanding NSAIDs and other painkiller options. What are the differences between painkillers? Which have more, or less, risk? One major class of painkillers are the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs are a group of drugs used to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and reduce fever. NSAIDs work by blocking the body from making prostaglandins, chemicals that provoke the immune system to create an inflammatory response. This shows up in the body as fever, redness, swelling, or pain. By blocking the body from making these chemicals, NSAIDs can reduce pain, swelling, and fever. Learn more: 3 myths about NSAIDs

Carefully consider the potential benefits and risks of ibuprofen suspension and other treatment options before deciding to use ibuprofen suspension. Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals (see WARNINGS).

In Pediatric Patients, ibuprofen suspension is indicated:

  • For reduction of fever in patients aged 6 months up to 2 years of age.
  • For relief of mild to moderate pain in patients aged 6 months up to 2 years of age.
  • For relief of signs and symptoms of juvenile arthritis.

In Adults, ibuprofen is indicated:

  • For treatment of primary dysmenorrhea.
  • For relief of the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Since there have been no controlled trials to demonstrate whether there is any beneficial effect or harmful interaction with the use of ibuprofen in conjunction with aspirin, the combination cannot be recommended. (see PRECAUTIONS – Drug Interactions).

contraindications

Ibuprofen suspension is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen suspension should not be given to patients who have experienced asthma, urticaria, or allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs. Severe, rarely fatal, anaphylactic-like reactions to NSAIDs have been reported in such patients (see WARNINGS – Anaphylactoid Reactions and PRECAUTIONS – Preexisting Asthma).

Ibuprofen suspension is contraindicated for the treatment of peri-operative pain in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery (see WARNINGS).

adverse reactions

In patients taking ibuprofen or other NSAIDs, the most frequently reported adverse experiences occurring in approximately 1-10% of patients are: Abnormal renal function, anemia, dizziness, edema, elevated liver enzymes, fluid retention, gastrointestinal experiences (including abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia, epigastric pain, flatulence, heartburn, nausea, vomiting), headaches, increased bleeding time, nervousness, pruritus, rashes (including maculopapular) and tinnitus.

Additional adverse experiences reported occasionally include:

Body as a whole – fever, infection, sepsis

Cardiovascular system – congestive heart failure in patients with marginal cardiac function, hypertension, tachycardia, syncope

Digestive system – dry mouth, duodenitits, esophagitis, gastric or duodenal ulcer with bleeding and/or perforation, gastritis, gastrointestinal bleeding, glossitis, hematemesis, hepatitis, jaundice, melena, rectal bleeding

Hemic and lymphatic system – ecchymosis, eosinophilia, leukopenia, purpura, stomatitis, thrombocytopenia

Metabolic and nutritional – weight changes

Nervous system – anxiety, asthenia, confusion, depression, dream abnormalities, drowsiness, insomnia, malaise, paresthesia, somnolence, tremors, vertigo

Respiratory system – asthma, dyspnea

Skin and appendages – alopecia, photosensitivity, sweat

Special senses – blurred vision

Urogenital system – cystitis, dysuria, hematuria, interstitial nephritis, oliguria/polyuria, proteinuria, acute renal failure in patients with pre-existing significantly impaired renal function

Other adverse reactions, which occur rarely are:

Body as a whole – anaphylactic reactions, anaphylactoid reactions, appetite changes

Cardiovascular system – arrhythmia, cerebrovascular accident, hypotension, myocardial infarction, palpitations, vasculitis

Digestive system – eructation, gingival ulcer, hepatorenal syndrome, liver necrosis, liver failure, pancreatitis

Hemic and lymphatic system – agranulocystosis, hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, lymphadenopathy, neutropenia, pancytopenia

Metabolic and nutritional – hyperglycemia

Nervous system – convulsions, coma, emotional lability, hallucinations, aseptic meningitis

Respiratory – apnea, respiratory depression, pneumonia, rhinitis

Skin and appendages – angioedema, toxic epidermal necrosis, erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens Johnson syndrome, uticaria, vesiculobullous eruptions

Special senses – amblyopia (blurred and/or diminished vision, scotomata and/or changes in color vision), conjunctivitis, dry eyes, hearing impairment

Urogenital – azotemia, decreased creatinine clearance, glomerulitis, renal papillary necrosis, tubular necrosis

warnings

CARDIOVASCULAR EFFECTS

Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events

Clinical trials of several COX-2 selective and nonselective NSAIDs of up to three years duration have shown an increased risk of serious cardiovascular (CV) thrombotic events, myocardial infarction, and stroke, which can be fatal. All NSAIDs, both COX-2 selective and nonselective, may have a similar risk. Patients with known CV disease or risk factors for CV disease may be at greater risk. To minimize the potential risk for an adverse CV event in patients treated with an NSAID, the lowest effective dose should be used for the shortest duration possible. Physicians and patients should remain alert for the development of such events, even in the absence of previous CV symptoms. Patients should be informed about the signs and/or symptoms of serious CV events and the steps to take if they occur.

There is no consistent evidence that concurrent use of aspirin mitigates the increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events associated with NSAID use. The concurrent use of aspirin and an NSAID does increase the risk of serious GI events (see GI WARNINGS).

Two large, controlled, clinical trials of a COX-2 selective NSAID for the treatment of pain in the first 10-14 days following CABG surgery found an increased incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

Hypertension

NSAIDs, including ibuprofen suspension, can lead to onset of new hypertension or worsening of preexisting hypertension, either of which may contribute to the increased incidence of CV events. Patients taking thiazides or loop diuretics may have impaired response to these therapies when taking NSAIDs. NSAIDs, including ibuprofen suspension, should be used with caution in patients with hypertension. Blood pressure (BP) should be monitored closely during the initiation of NSAID treatment and throughout the course of therapy.

Congestive Heart Failure and Edema

Fluid retention and edema have been observed in some patients taking NSAIDs. Ibuprofen suspension should be used with caution in patients with fluid retention or heart failure.

Gastrointestinal Effects

Risk of Ulceration, Bleeding, and Perforation

NSAIDs, including ibuprofen suspension, can cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including inflammation, bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach, small intestine, or large intestine, which can be fatal. These serious adverse events can occur at any time, with or without warning symptoms, in patients treated with NSAIDs. Only one in five patients, who develop a serious upper GI adverse event on NSAID therapy, is symptomatic. Upper GI ulcers, gross bleeding, or perforation caused by NSAIDs occur in approximately 1% of patients treated for 3-6 months, and in about 2-4% of patients treated for one year. These trends continue with longer duration of use, increasing the likelihood of developing a serious GI event at some time during the course of therapy. However, even short-term therapy is not without risk.

NSAIDs should be prescribed with extreme caution in those with a prior history of ulcer disease or gastrointestinal bleeding. Patients with a who use NSAIDs have a greater than 10-fold risk for developing a GI bleed compared to patients with neither of these risk factors. Other factors that increase the risk for GI bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs include concomitant use of oral corticosteroids or anticoagulants, longer duration of NSAID therapy, smoking, use of alcohol, older age, and poor general health status. Most spontaneous reports of fatal GI events are in elderly or debilitated patients and therefore, special care should be taken in treating this population.

To minimize the potential risk for an adverse GI event in patients treated with an NSAID, the lowest effective dose should be used for the shortest possible duration. Patients and physicians should remain alert for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding during NSAID therapy and promptly initiate additional evaluation and treatment if a serious GI adverse event is suspected. This should include discontinuation of the NSAID until a serious GI adverse event is ruled out. For high risk patients, alternate therapies that do not involve NSAIDs should be considered.

Renal Effects

Long-term administration of NSAIDs has resulted in renal papillary necrosis and other renal injury. Renal toxicity has also been seen in patients in whom renal prostaglandins have a compensatory role in the maintenance of renal perfusion. In these patients, administration of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug may cause a dose-dependent reduction in prostaglandin formation and, secondarily, in renal blood flow, which may precipitate overt renal decompensation. Patients at greatest risk of this reaction are those with impaired renal function, heart failure, liver dysfunction, those taking diuretics and ACE inhibitors, and the elderly. Discontinuation of NSAID therapy is usually followed by recovery to the pretreatment state.

Advanced Renal Disease

No information is available from controlled clinical studies regarding the use of ibuprofen suspension in patients with advanced renal disease. Therefore, treatment with ibuprofen suspension is not recommended in these patients with advanced renal disease. If ibuprofen suspension therapy must be initiated, close monitoring of the patient’s renal function is advisable.

Anaphylactoid Reactions

As with other NSAIDs, anaphylactoid reactions may occur in patients without known prior exposure to ibuprofen suspension. Ibuprofen suspension should not be given to patients with the aspirin triad. This symptom complex typically occurs in asthmatic patients who experience rhinitis with or without nasal polyps, or who exhibit severe, potentially fatal bronchospasm after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and PRECAUTIONS – Preexisting Asthma). Emergency help should be sought in cases where an anaphylactoid reaction occurs.

Skin Reactions

NSAIDs, including ibuprofen suspension, can cause serious skin adverse events such as exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which can be fatal. These serious events may occur without warning. Patients should be informed about the signs and symptoms of serious skin manifestations and use of the drug should be discontinued at the first appearance of skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity.

Pregnancy

In late pregnancy, as with other NSAIDs, ibuprofen should be avoided because it may cause premature closure of the ductus arteriosus.

medication guide

for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
(See the end of this Medication Guide for a list of prescription NSAID medicines.)

What is the most important information I should know about medicines called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)?

NSAID medicines may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke that can lead to death. This chance increases:

  • with longer use of NSAID medicines
  • in people who have heart disease

NSAID medicines should never be used right before or after a heart surgery called a "coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)."

NSAID medicines can cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and intestines at any time during treatment. Ulcers and bleeding:

  • can happen without warning symptoms
  • may cause death

The chance of a person getting an ulcer or bleeding increases with:

  • taking medicines called "corticosteroids" and "anticoagulants"
  • longer use
  • smoking
  • drinking alcohol
  • older age
  • having poor health

NSAID medicines should only be used:

  • exactly as prescribed
  • at the lowest dose possible for your treatment
  • for the shortest time needed

What are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)?

NSAID medicines are used to treat pain and redness, swelling, and heat (inflammation) from medical conditions such as:

  • different types of arthritis
  • menstrual cramps and other types of short-term pain

Who should not take a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID)?

Do not take an NSAID medicine:

  • if you had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergic reaction with aspirin or any other NSAID medicine
  • for pain right before or after heart bypass surgery

Tell your healthcare provider:

  • about all of your medical conditions.
  • about all of the medicines you take. NSAIDs and some other medicines can interact with each other and cause serious side effects. Keep a list of your medicines to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist.
  • if you are pregnant. NSAID medicines should not be used by pregnant women late in their pregnancy.
  • if you are breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor.

What are the possible side effects of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)?

Serious side effects include:
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • high blood pressure
  • heart failure from body swelling (fluid retention)
  • kidney problems including kidney failure
  • bleeding and ulcers in the stomach and intestine
  • low red blood cells (anemia)
  • life-threatening skin reactions
  • life-threatening allergic reactions
  • liver problems including liver failure
  • asthma attacks in people who have asthma
Other side effects include:
  • stomach pain
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • gas
  • heartburn
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness

Get emergency help right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • chest pain
  • slurred speech
  • weakness in one part or side of your body
  • swelling of the face or throat

Stop your NSAID medicine and call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • nausea
  • itching
  • stomach pain
  • vomit blood
  • there is blood in your bowel movement or it is black and sticky like tar
  • unusual weight gain
  • skin rash or blisters with fever
  • swelling of the arms and legs, hands and feet
  • more tired or weaker than usual
  • your skin or eyes look yellow
  • flu-like symptoms

These are not all the side effects with NSAID medicines. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information about NSAID medicines.

Other information about Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

  • Aspirin is an NSAID medicine but it does not increase the chance of a heart attack. Aspirin can cause bleeding in the brain, stomach, and intestines. Aspirin can also cause ulcers in the stomach and intestines.
  • Some of these NSAID medicines are sold in lower doses without a prescription (over-the-counter). Talk to your healthcare provider before using over-the-counter NSAIDs for more than 10 days.

NSAID medicines that need a prescription

Generic Name Trade Name
*
Vicoprofen contains the same dose of ibuprofen as over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs, and is usually used for less than 10 days to treat pain. The OTC label warns that long term continuous use may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Celecoxib Celebrex
Diclofenac Cataflam, Voltaren, Arthrotec (combined with misoprostol)
Diflunisal Dolobid
Etodolac Lodine, Lodine XL
Fenoprofen Nalfon, Nalfon 200
Flurbiprofen Ansaid
Ibuprofen Motrin, Tab-Profen, Vicoprofen* (combined with hydrocodone), Combunox (combined with oxycodone)
Indomethacin Indocin, Indocin SR, Indo-Lemmon, Indomethagan
Ketoprofen Oruvail
Ketorolac Toradol
Mefenamic Acid Ponstel
Meloxicam Mobic
Nabumetone Relafen
Naproxen Naprosyn, Anaprox, Anaprox DS, EC-Naprosyn, Naprelan, NapraPAC (copackaged with lansoprazole)
Oxaprozin Daypro
Piroxicam Feldene
Sulindac Clinoril
Tolmetin Tolectin, Tolectin DS, Tolectin 600

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

overdosage

The toxicity of ibuprofen overdose is dependent upon the amount of drug ingested and the time elapsed since ingestion, though individual response may vary, which makes it necessary to evaluate each case individually. Although uncommon, serious toxicity and death have been reported in the medical literature with ibuprofen overdosage. The most frequently reported symptoms of ibuprofen overdose include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, lethargy and drowsiness. Other central nervous system symptoms include headache, tinnitus, CNS depression and seizures. Metabolic acidosis, coma, acute renal failure and apnea (primarily in very young children) may rarely occur. Cardiovascular toxicity, including hypotension, bradycardia, tachycardia and atrial fibrillation, also have been reported.

The treatment of acute ibuprofen overdose is primarily supportive. Management of hypotension, acidosis and gastrointestinal bleeding may be necessary. In cases of acute overdose, the stomach should be emptied through ipecac-induced emesis or lavage. Emesis is most effective if initiated within 30 minutes of ingestion. Orally administered activated charcoal may help in reducing the absorption and reabsorption of ibuprofen.

In children, the estimated amount of ibuprofen ingested per body weight may be helpful to predict the potential for development of toxicity although each case must be evaluated. Ingestion of less than 100 mg/kg is unlikely to produce toxicity. Children ingesting 100 to 200 mg/kg may be managed with induced emesis and a minimal observation time of four hours. Children ingesting 200 to 400 mg/kg of ibuprofen should have immediate gastric emptying and at least four hours observation in a health care facility. Children ingesting greater than 400 mg/kg require immediate medical referral, careful observation and appropriate supportive therapy. Ipecac-induced emesis is not recommended in overdoses greater than 400 mg/kg because of the risk for convulsions and the potential for aspiration of gastric contents.

In adult patients the history of the dose reportedly ingested does not appear to be predictive of toxicity. The need for referral and follow-up must be judged by the circumstances at the time of the overdose ingestion. Symptomatic adults should be carefully evaluated, observed and supported.

general medication guide

General

Ibuprofen suspension cannot be expected to substitute for corticosteroids or to treat corticosteroid insufficiency. Abrupt discontinuation of corticosteroids may lead to disease exacerbation. Patients on prolonged corticosteroid therapy should have their therapy tapered slowly if a decision is made to discontinue corticosteroids.

The pharmacological activity of ibuprofen suspension in reducing fever and inflammation may diminish the utility of these diagnostic signs in detecting complications of presumed noninfectious, painful conditions.

description

The active ingredient in ibuprofen suspension is ibuprofen, which is a member of the propionic acid group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Ibuprofen is a racemic mixture of [+]S- and [-]R-enantiomers. It is a white to off-white crystalline powder, with a melting point of 74° to 77°C. It is practically insoluble in water (<0.1 mg/mL), but readily soluble in organic solvents such as ethanol and acetone. Ibuprofen has a pKa of 4.43±0.03 and an n-octanol/water partition coefficient of 11.7 at pH 7.4. The chemical name for ibuprofen is (±)-2-(p-isobutylphenyl) propionic acid. The molecular weight of ibuprofen is 206.28. Its molecular formula is C13H18O2 and it has the following structural formula:

Ibuprofen suspension is a sweetened, orange colored, berry flavored suspension containing 100 mg of ibuprofen in 5 mL (20 mg/mL). Inactive ingredients include: butylparaben, citric acid, corn syrup, D&C Red No. 33, FD&C Yellow No. 6, flavor, glycerin, hypromellose, polysorbate 80, propylene glycol, purified water, sodium benzoate, sorbitol, xanthan gum.

Ibuprofen Package Photos

About the Author

Truman Lewis
Truman has been a bureau chief and correspondent in D.C., Los Angeles, Phoenix and elsewhere, reporting for radio, television, print and news services, for more than 30 years. Most recently, he has reported extensively on health and consumer issues for ConsumerAffairs.com and FairfaxNews.com.