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Safety profile of nonprescription ibuprofen in the elderly osteoarthritis patient: A meta-analysis

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image of Inflammopharmacology

A previous meta-analysis comparing the adverse experiences (AEs) associated with multiple-dose nonprescription dosages of ibuprofen to placebo revealed that the overall incidence among ibuprofen-treated subjects was equivalent to placebo. Since the elderly may be more susceptible to adverse events, a further meta-analysis of OA studies in patients 65 years or older was conducted. Three studies utilizing daily doses of 1200 mg for a period of < 10 days met the inclusion criteria. In each study, the overall AE incidence among ibuprofen-treated subjects (n = 197) was numerically less than or equal to placebo (n = 210). Pooled across all studies, there was no statistically significant difference (p = 0.943) in overall incidence between placebo-treated subjects (29.0%) and ibuprofen-treated subjects (29.4%). The incidence of digestive system AEs was comparable (p = 0.712) for placebo (13.3%) and ibuprofen (12.2%); there was no significant difference for any specific digestive system AE. The AE incidence in the category 'body as a whole' was also comparable between the two treatment groups (p = 0.315, placebo = 9.5%; ibuprofen = 12.7%). These data indicate that nonprescription ibuprofen has an excellent side effect profile in multiple-dose, short-term use in the elderly OA patient, with a frequency of gastrointestinal AEs indistinguishable from placebo.

Affiliations: 1: Whitehall-Robins Healthcare, 5 Giralda Farms, Madison, NJ 07940-0871, USA


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