Ibuprofen Effective Against Cystic Fibrosis, Study Finds

From Associated Press

High doses of a common over-the-counter pain reliever slowed lung deterioration by 90% over four years in children with cystic fibrosis, a study has found.

The benefits of ibuprofen--sold under such brand names as Advil, Nuprin and Motrin--were most dramatic in children ages 5 to 13 who consistently took it in addition to conventional treatment with other drugs, the study’s authors said. Ibuprofen might also have some reduced benefit in older patients, the researchers said.

“I think this study suggests it’s a valid therapy to introduce into the clinic,” said one of the authors, Dr. Pamela Davis of Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. The study appears today in the New England Journal of Medicine.


Doctors agreed that the addition of the treatment is likely to increase the life expectancy of cystic fibrosis patients, although it will be years before that is proved. Now, half of the 1,000 people found to have cystic fibrosis each year die before the age of 30.

Davis cautioned patients not to begin treating themselves with the drug because it can have harmful side effects if not used correctly.

On Tuesday, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended that Children’s Motrin be approved for sale without a prescription.