, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp 267-272
Date: 21 Aug 2012

Ibuprofen and Increased Morbidity in Children with Asthma

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NSAIDs are commonly avoided by patients with aspirin-induced asthma based on the premise that there is a significant cross-reactivity between aspirin and other NSAIDs. However, ibuprofen, a NSAID sold over the counter in most countries, is commonly given to children for relief of fever and mild-to-moderate pain. Consequently, increased risk of acute bronchospasm induced by ibuprofen in children with asthma remains a persistent concern.

More recently, the assumption that children with asthma are at a greater risk for exacerbations of their disease if they take ibuprofen has been questioned. There is little evidence to suggest that ibuprofen measurably increases morbidity in the great majority of children with asthma.

Given the infrequent occurrence of aspirin/NSAID sensitivity in children with asthma, it seems reasonable to allow the use of ibuprofen in this population unless there is a personal or family history of aspirin-induced asthma. In addition, the inflammatory pathogenesis of asthma, anti-inflammatory effect of ibuprofen, and evidence suggesting ibuprofen may reduce morbidity in children with asthma raises the intriguing possibility that ibuprofen might actually have therapeutic benefit for at least some children with asthma.