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Ibuprofen Does Not Treat Colds, Sore Throats

Update Date: Nov 05, 2013 09:07 AM EST

Ibuprofen might not be effective anymore in treating patients suffering from cold and sore throat, according to a new study.

The study, that has been carried out by the University of Southampton, found that neither paracetamol nor ibuprofen was effective in treating patients overall with respiratory tract infections. The combination of these two also don’t have the expected effect.

Another very popular treatment method called steam inhalation also fails to create some curable impacts. Around 2 per cent of people get mild scalding but not bad enough to see a doctor.

“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,” said Professor Paul Little, lead author of the study.

“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.”

In the study another staggering fact that came into light was that patients were likely to come back within few weeks with worsening symptoms. There were also chances for new symptoms if they are treated with ibuprofen or ibuprofen with paracetamol.

“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,” he added in the press release.

“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 study is published in the British Medical Journal.

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