Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Ibuprofen May Aid Cystic Fibrosis Lungs

Taking Ibuprofen May Slow Lung Function Decline in Children With Cystic Fibrosis
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Ibuprofen Fights Cystic Fibrosis

Nov. 30, 2007 -- Ibuprofen, a drug that fights inflammation, may help the lungs of children with cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease in the U.S., notes the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The NIH explains that cystic fibrosis causes the body to produce thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs, leads to infection, and blocks the pancreas, which stops digestive enzymes from reaching the intestine where they are needed to digest food.

A new study shows that among children and teens with cystic fibrosis, lung function declined more slowly in those taking ibuprofen.

Data came from more than 10,000 U.S. children and teens aged 6-17 with cystic fibrosis.

The group included 1,365 children who took ibuprofen for at least three years. The rest of the children didn't report regular ibuprofen use.

The patients were followed for seven years. During that time, lung function declined for all of the patients, but the rate of decline was 29% slower for patients taking ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen can cause gastrointestinal bleeding. In the cystic fibrosis study, such problems were rare but more common among patients taking ibuprofen.

The benefits of taking ibuprofen outweighed the risks of gastrointestinal bleeding, write the researchers, who included Michael Konstan, MD, of Cleveland's Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

Ibuprofen is sold without prescription. But Konstan and colleagues don't make specific recommendations about what dose (if any) might be best for patients with cystic fibrosis.

Such decisions should be made by consulting with a doctor familiar with the patient's case -- not on a do-it-yourself basis.

The study appears in tomorrow's edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Today on WebMD

preschool age girl sitting at desk
look at my hand
woman with cleaning products
young boy with fever

worried kid
boy on father's shoulder
Child with red rash on cheeks
girl thinking

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

WebMD Special Sections