New over the counter painkiller “can be considered first-line option” for people with flaring joint pain

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lipid ibuprofen, new painkiller, pain relief, knee pain, arthritis drug, arthritis digest A new lipid formulation of low dose ibuprofen seems to work as well as a higher dose (prescription strength) standard ibuprofen, experts report in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

The FLARE study compared the new lipid ibuprofen formulation with standard ibuprofen in 462 people who were experiencing knee pain (59% men, average age 52 years). They were split into groups: 148 people were given 1,200mg lipid ibuprofen, 155 people were given 1,200mg soft-gel ibuprofen and 159 people were given 2,400mg soft gel ibuprofen (prescription strength). Key findings include:

  • The lipid-formulated ibuprofen was as effective as prescription-strength ibuprofen at relieving flaring joint pain;
  • Over 85% of people who took the lipid-formulated ibuprofen had an improvement in their flare-ups after five days;
  • There were fewer incidences of drug-related adverse gastrointestinal events with the lipid-formulated ibuprofen than prescription-strength ibuprofen capsules.

“We now have good clinical evidence to show that combining ibuprofen in a lipid formulation can provide effective flare up control,” says Prof Philip Conaghan, one of the study authors. “Based on the results of this study [lipid formulation of low dose ibuprofen] can be considered as a first-line over the counter treatment option for the self-management of flaring joint pain.”

The new formulation is available in UK pharmacies under the brand name Flarin®.

Click here to read the original research.

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