Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ibuprofen no good in treating colds or sore throats

Date:
November 4, 2013
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
Questions have been raised about the advice given to patients with a cold and sore throat. A study carried out showed that compared with paracetamol, ibuprofen or a combination of both ibuprofen and paracetamol provide no advantage for patients overall with respiratory tract infections (otherwise known as colds or sore throats).

Questions have been raised about the advice given to patients with a cold and sore throat, in research published in the British Medical Journal.

A study carried out by the University of Southampton showed that compared with paracetamol, ibuprofen or a combination of both ibuprofen and paracetamol provide no advantage for patients overall with respiratory tract infections (otherwise known as colds or sore throats).

Additionally steam inhalation, another common treatment method, has no clear benefit and around 2 per cent of people get mild scalding but not bad enough to see a doctor.

Professor Paul Little, who led the study, comments: "Paracetamol, ibuprofen or a combination of both are the most common courses of treatment for respiratory tract infections. Clinicians should probably not advise patients to use steam inhalation in daily practice as it does not provide symptomatic benefit for acute respiratory infections and a few individuals are likely to experience mild thermal injury. Similarly, routinely advising ibuprofen or ibuprofen and paracetamol together than just paracetamol is also not likely to be effective. However our research has shown that ibuprofen is likely to help children, and those with chest infections."

The research also showed that patients were more likely to come back within a month with worsening symptoms or new symptoms if they were prescribed with ibuprofen or ibuprofen with paracetamol. Between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of participants in the study who were prescribed ibuprofen or ibuprofen with paracetamol came back.

Professor Little admitted this was a surprising result and suggests the treatment may contribute to the progression of the illness. He adds: "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." The randomised control trial recruited 899 patients who presented at their GP with respiratory tract infection symptoms. They received different treatment types; paracetamol, ibuprofen or a combination of both. Participants were then told to either take it as needed or at regular intervals (four times a day) and some were also told to take steam inhalation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Little, M. Moore, J. Kelly, I. Williamson, G. Leydon, L. McDermott, M. Mullee, B. Stuart. Ibuprofen, paracetamol, and steam for patients with respiratory tract infections in primary care: pragmatic randomised factorial trial. BMJ, 2013; 347 (oct25 2): f6041 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f6041

Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Ibuprofen no good in treating colds or sore throats." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104101116.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2013, November 4). Ibuprofen no good in treating colds or sore throats. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104101116.htm
University of Southampton. "Ibuprofen no good in treating colds or sore throats." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104101116.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins