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Structure And Properties Of Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen, which really is a person in the propionic acid solution group of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, drugs (NSAIDs). Ibuprofen is a racemic combination of [+]S- and [-]R-enantiomers. Ibuprofen has contains a stereocenter in the α-position of the propionate moiety. Studies shown that [+]S -ibuprofen was the energetic form and it exhibited activity in both in-vivo and in-vitro.

Ibuprofen is white to off-white in color and occurs as a crystalline powder, with a melting point of 74 to 77C. It is practically insoluble in normal water, but easily soluble in organic and natural solvents such as ethanol and acetone. Ibuprofen has a pKa value of 4. 43±0. 03 and an n-octanol/normal water partition coefficient of 11. 7 at pH 7. 4. The substance name for ibuprofen is (±)-2-(p-iso-butylphenyl) propionic acid. The molecular weight of ibuprofen is 206. 28. Its molecular method is C13H1802.

Mechanism of action

The major action of Ibuprofen and all the Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and is the inhibition of the cyclooxygenase enzyme or the COX enzymes and therefore inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandins. These cyclooxygenase enzymes catalyse the reaction of synthesis of prostaglandins and thromboxanes from arachidonic acidity, which is synthesized from phospholipids by the action of the phospholipase enzyme. The prostaglandins and thromboxanes are then responsible for the synthesis of various inflammatory mediators. You can find two types of cyclooxygenase enzymes specifically, cyclooxygenase enzyme-I (COX-I) and cyclooxygenase enzyme-II (COX-II). COX-I is a constitutive enzyme which is released in the majority of the body tissue including the blood vessels platelets. COX-I performs a house-keeping role in the body and is mixed up in cells homeostasis. Whereas, COX-II is present in the inflammatory cells and is in charge of the production of prostanoid mediators, that happen to be responsible for irritation, pain and fever. Therefore, inhibition of the COX-II brings about the anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic and analgesic activity of ibuprofen and whereas on the other palm, inhibition of COX-II is in charge of the unwanted side effects of ibuprofen in the gastric mucosa and on platelet aggregation.

In 2002, a report reported that, ibuprofen selectively inhibits a fresh variant of the COX enzyme that was completely different from the then known two variations of cyclooxygenase enzymes, the COX-I and COX-II. This iso-enzyme is now known as the COX-III enzyme. Analysis also showed that this COX-III enzyme was only expressed in the mind and in the spinal cord. Its exact mechanism and actions is still poorly known, but future research might provide further understanding into how it operates. A study on rats has shown that supervision of ibuprofen escalates the bioavailability of serotonin (5-HT) in rats and data for a similar system in humans was also found. Chronic ibuprofen doses in rat showed down-regulation of central 5-HT2A receptors and an increase in the number of serotonin transporter protein.

In 2006, a study showed that ibuprofen is changed into N-arachidonoyl phenolamine, or AM404, a substance called an endogenous cannabinoid reuptake inhibitor and it indirectly triggers the CB-I cannabinoid receptor, resulting in analgesia. This activity was proven through the induction of an CB-I receptor antagonist which led to the reversal of the analgesic action of ibuprofen.



Ibuprofen is well ingested from the gastro intestinal tract. The optimum plasma level of ibuprofen is reached within one to two 2 hours. It had been shown in a study that absorption of ibuprofen is faster in fasting conditions. Food impacts the pace of absorption of ibuprofen but the scope of absorption remains unchanged. The study also revealed that, ibuprofen when administered with food delays the time taken for peak plasma focus by about 30-60 minutes.


Ibuprofen like the other brokers of its course is highly health proteins bound. It was found in a report that about 90-99% of ibuprofen was proteins bound at a attentiveness of 20g/ml and this binding was non-linear. The quantity of distribution ibuprofen changes with age and fever conditions. Studies show that febrile children's less than 11 years of age have volume of distribution approximately 0. 2 L/kg, while adults have level of distribution approximately 0. 12 L/kg.


Ibuprofen is thoroughly metabolised in the liver to create inactive metabolic materials. Ibuprofen is mainly metabolised by glucoronidation response. A study demonstrated that majority of the ibuprofen dose was retrieved in the urine as hydroxy phenyl propionic acid (25%) and carboxy propyl phenyl propionic acid (37%) metabolites.


Ibuprofen and its own inactive metabolites are speedily and completely excreted by the kidney. About 95% of the administered medication dosage of ibuprofen is removed in the urine. The elimination half-life of ibuprofen is at the range of 1 1. 9 time to 2 time.

Pharmacological activity

Ibuprofen has the following pharmacological activities on the biological system

Antipyretic effect

Analgesic effect

Anti-inflammatory effect

Antipyretic effect

A normal body's temperature is regulated by a centre in the hypothalamus that ensures a balance between heating loss and temperature production in the body. Therefore, the hypothalamus sustains a normal heat of your body and therefore it works as a thermostat. When there's a disruption in this hypothalamic thermostat, heat of your body established by the hypothalamus is elevated, fever occurs. Ibuprofen and other Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reset this go up in the temperature. It regulates various temp regulatory mechanisms such as dilation of superficial blood vessels, sweating etc. to lessen the heat range. Ibuprofen and other NSAID's do not impact the normal temp.

Ibuprofen and other NSAID's are thought to do something as antipyretic agencies by inhibiting the prostaglandin creation in the hypothalamus. During an inflammatory reaction, the bacterial endotoxins cause a release of your pyrogen-IL-1 from macrophages. This release of pyrogen stimulates the technology of E-type prostaglandins in the hypothalamus, therefore triggers the elevation of temps. You will find evidences that prostaglandins aren't the one mediators of fever, hence ibuprofen and other NSAID's may involve some alternate mechanisms for their antipyretic activity which is not yet known.

Analgesic effect

Ibuprofen is mainly effective against pain associated with infection or injury. This is because of the inhibition of prostaglandins that sensitise nociceptors to inflammatory mediators such as bradykinin. Therefore ibuprofen is effective against pains that are associated with increased prostaglandin synthesis. Their potential to relieve headache may be related to the inhibition of the vasodilator effect of prostaglandins on the cerebral vasculature. There are a few evidences that ibuprofen have a central result by an action mainly in the spinal-cord where it inhibits the COX-III enzyme. This action of ibuprofen is not yet evidently known.

Anti-inflammatory activity

Many substance mediators are released when there is a stimulus of your inflammatory and allergic response. This response causes vasodilation, increased vascular permeability, cell build up, etc. , that are made by several mechanisms. Furthermore, different mediators may be of particular importance in different inflammatory and sensitive conditions. Ibuprofen reduces mainly those the different parts of the inflammatory and immune response in which mediators produced by COX-II enzyme action plays a substantial part. The components inhibited by ibuprofen are vasodilation, oedema and pain. Ibuprofen has no influence on those functions which donate to tissue damage just as persistent inflammatory conditions such as arthritis rheumatoid, vasculitis and nephritis.

Uses of ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is employed to treat a variety of conditions such as head aches, backache, menstrual cramps, dental care pain, neuralgia, rheumatic pain, muscular pain, migraine, arthritis and athletic injuries. Ibuprofen is also used to reduce fever and to relieve minor pains and pain caused anticipated to common cold or flu.

In a recently available study, it was found that ibuprofen was effective in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease when given in low doses over a long period of time. A study also exhibited that ibuprofen is associated with less threat of Parkinson's disease, and ibuprofen can help in delaying and prevent it.


Adverse effects of Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen seems to have the lowest incidence of adverse medicine reactions (ADR's) when compared to all other non-selective NSAID's. However, this only holds true at lower doses of ibuprofen. Common undesireable effects of ibuprofen with the gastrointestinal tract include - nausea, dyspepsia, heartburn symptoms, gastrointestinal ulceration and blood loss, diarrhoea, lack of appetite, abdominal pain. Effects on central nervous system include throbbing headache, dizziness, tiredness and nervousness. Hypersensitivity reactions include skin area rashes, scratching. In very rare circumstances ex-foliative dermatitis and epidermal necrolysis has been noticed. Infrequent adverse impact includes- oesophageal ulceration, heart failure, hyperkalaemia, renal impairment, misunderstandings, bronchospasm, and sodium and water retention [11]


Like the other real estate agents of the NSAIDs, ibuprofen has also been reported to be a photosensitising agent. [12][13] However, this only almost never occurs with ibuprofen and it is considered to be a very poor photosensitising agent in comparison to other customers of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is because the ibuprofen molecule includes only a single phenyl moiety no bond conjugation, producing a very vulnerable chromophore system and an extremely weak absorption variety which will not reach in to the solar spectrum.

Cardiovascular risk

Ibuprofen has been reported to elevate the chance of myocardial infarction, particularly among those taking chronically high doses of ibuprofen [14]

Risk in pregnancy

Studies have found an elevated risk of miscarriage with the use of ibuprofen in early being pregnant; however, there are no detailed findings in this connection. There are also concerns that drugs such as ibuprofen may interfere with implantation of the early foetus, although a definite risk is not set up. When ibuprofen can be used as directed in the first and second trimester of being pregnant, it is not associated with an elevated risk for beginning defects. However, ibuprofen is normally not used during motherhood because there are concerns with the use through the third trimester.

Ibuprofen Overdose

Ibuprofen is the most commonly and widely used Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent all around the globe. Since, ibuprofen was accredited as an over the counter drug, ibuprofen overdose became a typical phenomenon.

The most typical symptoms of ibuprofen overdose are unsteadiness, blurry vision, tinnitus, gastrointestinal, nausea plus throwing up, diarrhoea, abdomen pain, probable loss of blood in intestinal areas or abdomen or both, headaches, agitation, drowsiness, incoherence and dilemma etc. Sometimes much more serious symptoms are also seen in some victims, such as seizure, gastrointestinal blood loss, metabolic acidosis, respiratory system unhappiness, hyperkalaemia, tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, coma, hepatic dysfunction, renal failing, cyanosis, and cardiac arrest etc. , however these symptoms are very rare. The severe nature of symptoms varies with the ingested dosage and enough time elapsed. However, individual sensitivity also plays an important role. Generally, the symptoms witnessed with an overdose of ibuprofen act like the symptoms caused by an overdose of other NSAID's.

Doses of ibuprofen below 100 mg/kg are less likely to produce any harmful effects. But doses of ibuprofen above 400 mg/kg are considered an overdose and can result into any of the above effects.

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