Ibuprofen in paediatrics: pharmacology, prescribing and controversies


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Abstract

Ibuprofen, a propionic acid derivative, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The oral formulation is widely used in paediatric practice and after paracetamol it is one of the most common drugs prescribed for children in hospital. The treatment of fever with antipyretics such as ibuprofen is controversial as fever is the normal response of the body to infection and unless the child becomes distressed or symptomatic, fever alone should not be routinely treated. Combined treatment with paracetamol and ibuprofen is commonly undertaken but almost certainly is not helpful. This article aims to describe the indications and mode of action of the drug, outline its pharmacokinetics and highlight the important key messages regarding its use in clinical practice.

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