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Efficacy and safety of ibuprofen and acetaminophen in children and adults: a meta-analysis and qualitative review.
Ann Pharmacother. 2010 Mar; 44(3):489-506.AP

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the analgesic and antipyretic efficacy and safety of ibuprofen compared to acetaminophen in children and adults.

DATA SOURCES

Literature searches were performed using PubMed/MEDLINE (through August 2009) and EMBASE (through January 2008) and were restricted to the English language. In PubMed/MEDLINE, search terms used were ibuprofen, acetaminophen, paracetamol, clinical trials, and randomized controlled trials. EMBASE search terms included ibuprofen and acetaminophen, restricted to human and clinical trials.

STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION

All English-language articles identified from the data sources were reviewed. Multiple review articles were studied for any pertinent references and this yielded additional articles. Only articles that directly compared ibuprofen and acetaminophen were eligible for this review.

DATA SYNTHESIS

Eighty-five studies that directly compared ibuprofen to acetaminophen were identified; 54 contained analgesic efficacy data, 35 contained antipyretic/temperature reduction data, and 66 contained safety data (some articles contained more than 1 type of data). Qualitative review of the literature revealed that, for the most part, ibuprofen was more efficacious than acetaminophen for the treatment of pain and fever in both pediatric and adult populations, and that these 2 drugs were equally safe. Meta-analyses on the subset of randomized clinical trial articles that reported sufficient quantitative information to calculate either an odds ratio (adverse event [AE]) or standardized mean difference (pain and fever) confirmed the qualitative results for adult (standardized mean difference [SMD] 0.69; 95% CI 0.57 to 0.81) and pediatric (SMD 0.28; 95% CI 0.10 to 0.46) pain at 2 hours postdose and pediatric fever (SMD 0.26; 95% CI 0.10 to 0.41) at 4 hours postdose. Conclusions regarding adult fever/temperature reduction could not be made due to a lack of evaluable data. The combined odds ratio for the proportion of adult subjects experiencing at least 1 AE slightly favored ibuprofen; however, the difference was not statistically significant (1.12; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.25). No significant difference between drugs in AE incidence was found for pediatric patients (0.82; 95% CI 0.60 to 1.12).

CONCLUSIONS

Ibuprofen is as or more efficacious than acetaminophen for the treatment of pain and fever in adult and pediatric populations and is equally safe.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Critical Care Specialty Residency Department of Pharmacy, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA. capierce@wfubmc.eduNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

20150507

Citation

Pierce, Catherine A., and Bryan Voss. "Efficacy and Safety of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen in Children and Adults: a Meta-analysis and Qualitative Review." The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, vol. 44, no. 3, 2010, pp. 489-506.
Pierce CA, Voss B. Efficacy and safety of ibuprofen and acetaminophen in children and adults: a meta-analysis and qualitative review. Ann Pharmacother. 2010;44(3):489-506.
Pierce, C. A., & Voss, B. (2010). Efficacy and safety of ibuprofen and acetaminophen in children and adults: a meta-analysis and qualitative review. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 44(3), 489-506. https://doi.org/10.1345/aph.1M332
Pierce CA, Voss B. Efficacy and Safety of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen in Children and Adults: a Meta-analysis and Qualitative Review. Ann Pharmacother. 2010;44(3):489-506. PubMed PMID: 20150507.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Efficacy and safety of ibuprofen and acetaminophen in children and adults: a meta-analysis and qualitative review. AU - Pierce,Catherine A, AU - Voss,Bryan, Y1 - 2010/02/11/ PY - 2010/2/13/entrez PY - 2010/2/13/pubmed PY - 2010/5/19/medline SP - 489 EP - 506 JF - The Annals of pharmacotherapy JO - Ann Pharmacother VL - 44 IS - 3 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the analgesic and antipyretic efficacy and safety of ibuprofen compared to acetaminophen in children and adults. DATA SOURCES: Literature searches were performed using PubMed/MEDLINE (through August 2009) and EMBASE (through January 2008) and were restricted to the English language. In PubMed/MEDLINE, search terms used were ibuprofen, acetaminophen, paracetamol, clinical trials, and randomized controlled trials. EMBASE search terms included ibuprofen and acetaminophen, restricted to human and clinical trials. STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: All English-language articles identified from the data sources were reviewed. Multiple review articles were studied for any pertinent references and this yielded additional articles. Only articles that directly compared ibuprofen and acetaminophen were eligible for this review. DATA SYNTHESIS: Eighty-five studies that directly compared ibuprofen to acetaminophen were identified; 54 contained analgesic efficacy data, 35 contained antipyretic/temperature reduction data, and 66 contained safety data (some articles contained more than 1 type of data). Qualitative review of the literature revealed that, for the most part, ibuprofen was more efficacious than acetaminophen for the treatment of pain and fever in both pediatric and adult populations, and that these 2 drugs were equally safe. Meta-analyses on the subset of randomized clinical trial articles that reported sufficient quantitative information to calculate either an odds ratio (adverse event [AE]) or standardized mean difference (pain and fever) confirmed the qualitative results for adult (standardized mean difference [SMD] 0.69; 95% CI 0.57 to 0.81) and pediatric (SMD 0.28; 95% CI 0.10 to 0.46) pain at 2 hours postdose and pediatric fever (SMD 0.26; 95% CI 0.10 to 0.41) at 4 hours postdose. Conclusions regarding adult fever/temperature reduction could not be made due to a lack of evaluable data. The combined odds ratio for the proportion of adult subjects experiencing at least 1 AE slightly favored ibuprofen; however, the difference was not statistically significant (1.12; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.25). No significant difference between drugs in AE incidence was found for pediatric patients (0.82; 95% CI 0.60 to 1.12). CONCLUSIONS: Ibuprofen is as or more efficacious than acetaminophen for the treatment of pain and fever in adult and pediatric populations and is equally safe. SN - 1542-6270 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20150507/Efficacy_and_safety_of_ibuprofen_and_acetaminophen_in_children_and_adults:_a_meta_analysis_and_qualitative_review_ L2 - https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1345/aph.1M332?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -