Ibuprofen and benefits
I have heard of the many benefits of ibuprofen. Would you explain exactly what ibuprofen is (its properties)? Is it available? Who can benefit from it?
Ibuprofen is a “nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory” drug (not derived from cortisone). It has the antiinflammatory properties of cortisone and its derivatives, but is not as potent. It is mostly used to treat musculoskeletal diseases, especially rheumatoid arthritis, which involves inflammation in the joints. Ibuprofen is also an analgesic (painkiller) that can be used for headaches and is available as a mild over-the-counter drug called Advil.
Knowing that bronchial inflammation is probably a major factor in pulmonary deterioration, we readily understand why there has been an interest in anti-inflammatory drugs and ibuprofen in particular.
In March 1995, the results of a clinical trial comparing ibuprofen to a placebo (a pill containing no active substance) was published. Eighty-five people with cystic fibrosis participated over a period of four years. They had only mild lung problems and the drug dosages were adjusted according to blood levels. Results showed that patients who took ibuprofen had a smaller decrease in their respiratory capacity. However, only those under 13 years of age showed improvement, and the treatment did not reduce the number of times they had to be hospitalized. The ibuprofen had no more side effects than the placebo.
Another study published in 2007 compared ibuprofen to a placebo. It was conducted over two years and involved 142 subjects aged 6 to 18, all of whom had mild lung problems. The results showed that respiratory capacity deteriorated less quickly in those who took ibuprofen than in those who took the placebo. In addition, the drug was generally well tolerated.
The 1995 study is the only one on the use of ibuprofen in adults with cystic fibrosis. In this study, the drug seemed less effective in adults and adolescents than in children. It is also important to mention that ibuprofen may cause fairly serious side effects, particularly in the digestive system (irritation, ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding). Thus, even though it has been shown to slow the progression of lung deterioration in cystic fibrosis, ibuprofen, especially in high doses, is not routinely used.