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New Research Prompts Call for Ibuprofen Review

New Research Prompts Call for Ibuprofen Review

AUCKLAND, Feb. 6 /MediaNet International-AsiaNet/ -- New Zealanders should check that ibuprofen is suitable for them before self-selecting it from supermarket shelves and regulators should re-consider their decision to make ibuprofen available in supermarkets and convenience stores, according to a new review published in the latest issue of the Australian Journal of Pharmacy (AJP)[1].

Professor Greg Peterson from the Unit for Medication Outcomes Research and Education, at the School of Pharmacy, University of Tasmania argues in the current issue of AJP (February 2006) that a wide range of research has been published since 2003 that further questions the broad suitability of ibuprofen in the community.

“I’m not saying the regulators necessarily got it wrong in 2003 when they made the decision to allow supermarket availability,” said Professor Peterson, “but there is new research on the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and obstetric risks of ibuprofen use that has emerged since the decision.”

“Even if we can not prompt the regulators to review the availability of ibuprofen in New Zealand and Australia, I hope my article encourages people to double-check that ibuprofen is suitable for them before using it,” said Professor Peterson.

According to Professor Peterson’s article, much research has been published since the original decision to allow ibuprofen to be sold in supermarkets, including the following:

* Anti-inflammatory pain relievers like Ibuprofen are associated with an 80% increased risk of miscarriage

* One in five people with asthma are sensitive to aspirin or ibuprofen

* Small bowel injury is evident in 71% of those who use non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen compared to 10% of controls

* Ibuprofen has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack

Euan Galloway, Chief Pharmacist Advisor for the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand, believes Professor Peterson’s article shows the importance of consumers checking with their pharmacist before self medicating, to ensure the medicine is right for them.

“Consumers who are uncertain which pain-relief to use, or unsure whether their pain is the symptom of a more serious problem, should consult their local pharmacist who is professionally trained to provide this advice,” said Mr Galloway.

Leading gastroenterologist, Professor Terry Bolin, who is the President of the Gut Foundation in Australia, supports the call for increased caution with over the counter ibuprofen.

“There is new research emerging all the time. Just last month another article published in the journal Gastroenterology showed that the use of NSAIDS like ibuprofen at the upper end of over the counter doses was associated with serious gastrointestinal toxicity,” said Professor Bolin.


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