Adverse drug reactions to ibuprofen: a case report

Yadneshwar Khobragade, Sujata Khobragade


Ibuprofen is a commonly used drug available by prescription and over the counter for treatment of fever, joint pain, headache, migraine, inflammatory states. It is available in combination with paracetamol and various other drugs. Side effects associated with aspirin & non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are rash, gastrointestinal ulcers, hepatic toxicity, Steven Johnson syndrome, respiratory skin rashes, acute exacerbation of asthma and anaphylaxis. We have reported here severe distress hypersensitive reaction with ibuprofen induced hypersensitivity syndrome. Within two hours of consumption of ibuprofen patient developed severe bronchospasm, throat & laryngeal oedema leading to respiratory distress. He was treated with salbutamol, hydrocortisone, deriphylline and supportive oxygen, but did not respond and went into coma. Unlike acetaminophen, ibuprofen does not have any antidote hence managing adverse drug reactions (ADR) due to ibuprofen is big challenge. Therefore understanding pathophysiology of ADR to Ibuprofen is necessary to manage the patient. Literature in the field of allergic drug reaction shows that epinephrine, a physiological antagonist of histamine is the first drug of choice for the treatment of allergic or drug induced angioedema, laryngeal oedema and bronchospasm due to its direct action on target organs. Such reactions should therefore be managed by epinephrine without loss of time. ADR due to ibuprofen could be prevented by (a) avoiding unnecessary intake of drug, (b) educating patients / families and public about adverse drug reactions (c) surveillance and monitoring of drug reactions (d) record keeping (e) drug audit and (f) reporting of ADR to state/central pharmacovigilance agency. We do observe doctors having misconception about adrenaline, its actions, usage & side effects especially cardio-vascular, hence are reluctant to use. But in severe violent adverse drug reaction we have to use our wisdom and judgement and see whether usage of adrenaline overweighs the ADR or not. In acute drug reaction like this where respiratory system is compromised use adrenaline could have been helpful. We therefore suggest adequate teaching of the field of adverse drug reactions, early diagnosis of drug reactions and judicious use of epinephrine if warranted.


Ibuprofen, Cystaennyl leukotriene, Histamine, Adverse drug reactions, Cerebral hypoxia, Angioedema, Bronchospasm, Anaphylaxis, Anaphylactoid

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