Ibuprofen versus other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: use in general practice and patient perception

C J Hawkey, D J E Cullen, G Pearson, S Holmes, M Doherty, J V Wilson, P Garrud, S Garner, A Maynard, R F A Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To investigate whether ibuprofen was as well-regarded by patients as other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Design: Questionnaire sent to 1137 consecutive recipients of an NSAID prescription from 21 doctors in six general practices with computerized records. Patient responses were subsequently linked to data held on the practice records.

Setting: General practices in and around Nottingham, selected to reflect local variations in number of partners, list size, geographical location, deprivation, prescribing burden and prescribing rate.

Subjects: Unselected patients receiving NSAIDs prescribed for all indications for use.

Main outcome measures: Effectiveness of ibuprofen and other NSAIDs, possible drug related adverse events, patients' overall satisfaction with ibuprofen and other NSAIDs, factors associated with choice of ibuprofen, drug costs of ibuprofen and other NSAIDs.

Results: The main NSAIDs used were ibuprofen, diclofenac and naproxen. Ibuprofen use ranged from 1.0% of prescriptions in one practice to 69.1% in another. Although ibuprofen was generally prescribed in low doses, it was perceived by patients as being as effective as the other NSAIDs used, even after allowing for severity of the pre-treatment condition. Overall, 50.5% of patients rated their NSAID the best treatment they had received for their condition with no differences between individual drugs.

Conclusions: Ibuprofen is as highly regarded as other NSAIDs when used in similar circumstances. Switching patients to ibuprofen may be a realistic way of reducing financial and medical costs associated with NSAIDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-191
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2000



Cite this