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OBJECTIVES: To assess the irritation and contact sensitization potential of a 200 mg ibuprofen medicated plaster. METHODS: This double-blind, phase-1 placebo controlled study had two phases; the induction phase to evaluate the irritant potential of continuous application of the plaster, and the challenge phase to assess contact sensitivity (allergy). The cumulative irritancy potential was evaluated using an adaptation of the Shelanski method. Healthy adults (≥18 years of age) (N = 210) were treated simultaneously with one ibuprofen medicated and one placebo plaster applied in a randomized fashion to either the left or right side of the lower back. During the induction phase, plasters were applied on Days 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, and 19 and the final plaster removed on Day 22. At each scheduled visit plasters and applications sites were assessed for degree of adhesion and skin irritation (score of 1 = no irritation to 7 = strong reaction spreading beyond test sites), respectively. The challenge phase followed a two-week washout period. A plaster was applied on Day 36 for 48 h and assessment occurred on Days 38, 39, and 40. RESULTS: The mean cumulative irritation score during the induction phase was lower for the ibuprofen medicated plaster than the placebo plaster (0.32 vs. 1.23, respectively). Three (1.4%) subjects experience a dermal reaction of grade ≥3 for the ibuprofen medicated plaster compared with 27 (12.7%) for the placebo plaster. Following challenge with ibuprofen or placebo plasters, 12 subjects (6.2%) with the ibuprofen medicated plaster and four (2.2%) with the placebo plaster had skin reaction of assessment grade higher than the induction phase. One subject for the ibuprofen and two for the placebo plaster had reactions with grade >2. No subjects showed an increase in sensitization on Day 39 or 40 compared with Day 38. CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicate that the both the irritancy and contact sensitization of the ibuprofen medicated plaster is acceptable.

Original publication




Journal article


Postgrad Med

Publication Date





334 - 340


Ibuprofen, allery, irritant, pain, patch, plaster, sensitization, Administration, Cutaneous, Adult, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, Bandages, Double-Blind Method, Drug Eruptions, Female, Healthy Volunteers, Humans, Ibuprofen, Male, Middle Aged, Pain Measurement, Time Factors