Q:

Hi,
Is ibuprofen contraindicated in the asthma patient?
Regards

A:

Thank you for your recent inquiry.

Ibuprofen is not routinely contraindicated in asthma. There are a subset of asthmatic patients in which ibuprofen, and any other nonselective nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug, is contraindicated because it can activate asthma and nasal symptoms. This group of asthmatics, which probably represent less than 15 percent of the total number, usually has not only asthma but nasal polyps and chronic sinusitis. In patients expressing this phenotype, ibuprofen and other nonselective nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, including aspirin, are contraindicated. But, as noted, this is a minority of the total number of asthmatics, and it is not routine, in patients without the above described phenotype, to withhold nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs.

The reference below should be very helpful to you if you wish to further explore this issue.

Thank you again for your inquiry and we hope this response is helpful to you.

Reference:
1. Kowalski ML. Aspirin-sensitive rhinosinusitis and asthma. Clinical Allergy and Immunlogy 2007; 19:147-175.

Sincerely,
Phil Lieberman, M.D.

AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology