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Does Ibuprofen Work for a Cold?

Does Ibuprofen Work for a Cold?

New Brief

In a study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers from the University of Southampton  brought into question the effectiveness of ibuprofen for cold or sore throat symptoms, a treatment commonly recommended by physicians.  In a randomized control trial involving 899 patients who visited their physicians with respiratory tract infections symptoms, the researchers found that ibuprofen provided no benefit to patients.

They also found that 50-70 percent of those taking ibuprofen or ibuprofen with paracetamol were more likely to come back within a month with new or worsening symptoms.

Professor Paul Little, who led the study, suggests that the treatment may contribute to the progression of the illness.  “This may have something to do with the fact the ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory. It is possible that the drug is interfering with an important part of the immune response and leads to prolonged symptoms or the progression of symptoms in some individuals. Although we have to be a bit cautious since these were surprise findings, for the moment I would personally not advise most patients to use ibuprofen for symptom control for coughs colds and sore throat.”


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