Ibuprofen safe to take with water alone: new advice

analgesics: ibuprofen and glass of water

New advice from the Australian Medicines Handbook states that ibuprofen can be taken with water alone.

While the update confirms what a growing number of healthcare professionals have suspected, says Reckitt Benckiser, it means pharmacists need to rethink the advice they provide to customers about taking NSAID analgesics, as well as the advice and training they pass on to their pharmacy staff.

Coincidental with changes in Product Information for prescription ibuprofen products in Australia, RB, maker of Nurofen, engaged UK pain expert and Cochrane reviewer Professor Andrew Moore to prepare a submission to the AMH editorial board, citing recent research and clinical data that indicated taking analgesics with food is unnecessary.

Prof Moore says he is pleased that the AMH has changed its counselling advice for ibuprofen.

“There have been quite a lot of studies done on analgesics looking at the fasted and the fed state. The results show that taking analgesia with food lowers the blood plasma concentration, which is the exact opposite of what we’re trying to achieve, because we know that high early plasma concentrations are strongly associated with analgesic efficacy,” he says.

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