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The safety of ibuprofen.

In 1989 the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), for treating fever in children. Prior to then, acetaminophen was the drug of choice. Most doctors don't recommend the use of aspirin because of the risk Reye's syndrome. Even though the FDA approved the use of NSAIDs in children, it required it be available by prescription only since there was limited data on its safety.

The common side effects of NSAIDs are acute bleeding in the stomach, acute renal failure, and a serious allergic reaction. These don't occur very often in adults, but it was unknown how often they occur in children. To answer this question, researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine evaluated almost 85,000 febrile children. Half were treated with acetaminophen, the other half with ibuprofen.

The risk of hospitalizations for gastrointestinal bleeding, acute renal failure, or severe allergic reactions was the same in the two study groups. This doesn't say anything about the prolonged use of NSAIDs nor does it address other less severe side effects.

Journal of the American Medical Association, 3 / 2 2 / 9 5, pp. 929-34.

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Title Annotation:adapted from the Journal of the American Medical Association, March 22, 1995; for fever treatment in children
Publication:Pediatrics for Parents
Date:Dec 1, 1994
Previous Article:The preschool years.
Next Article:Treating diarrhea.

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