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Ibuprofen in paediatrics: pharmacology, prescribing and controversies
  1. Camilla Moriarty1,
  2. Will Carroll2
  1. 1Department of Paediatric, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, University Hospitals of the North Midlands, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Will Carroll, Consultant Paediatrician, Academic Department of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, University Hospitals of the North Midlands, Newcastle Road, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 6QG, UK; will.carroll{at}


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.

  • ibuprofen
  • pharmacokinetics
  • biology
  • childhood

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.