Ibuprofen benefits cystic fibrosis lungs

High-dose ibuprofen can slow the rate of lung decline in children with cystic fibrosis, according to a Cochrane review.

The updated review supports the theory that long-term high-dose treatment with the anti-inflammatory drug can slow down lung tissue deterioration.

Progressive lung damage contributes to the majority of cystic fibrosis deaths.

The latest review included four trials involving 287 patients aged five to 39 years, who were followed-up for a maximum of four years.

The studies provided some evidence that ibuprofen could slow lung decline. In one study, people treated with ibuprofen before the age of 13 had an annual 1.5 per cent drop in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), compared with more than 4 per cent in those given placebo.

However, ibuprofen in cystic fibrosis is not currently recommended for routine use and patients should only be given the therapy in a specialist centre, warn the review authors.

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

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