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OBJECTIVE: Ibuprofen is a commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug administered to treat injuries, joint pain, and recurrent muscular skeletal pain. The aim of this study was to determine the cutaneous irritancy of a medicated ibuprofen plaster compared with a placebo plaster in healthy volunteers. METHODS: Healthy volunteers (N = 31) were treated at the same time with one ibuprofen and one placebo plaster. The ibuprofen and placebo plaster were applied in a randomized fashion to sites on the left or right side of subjects' lower backs. At each scheduled visit, the plasters and applications sites were assessed for degree of adhesion and skin irritancy, respectively. The plasters were applied on study Days 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, and 19, with final plaster removal on Day 22. RESULTS: The ibuprofen medicated plaster compared with placebo had a lower percentage of Grade 1 (23.3% vs. 46.7%, respectively), Grade 2 (10% vs. 20%), and ≥Grade 3 (3% vs. 16.1%) irritancy scores after 21 days of application. The mean irritation score across the study was 0.40 for the ibuprofen medicated plaster and 1.18 for the placebo plaster. The irritation score on Day 22 of the study was 0.53 for the ibuprofen medicated plaster and 1.50 for placebo. The placebo plaster was associated with a higher number of stopped applications due to Grade 3 or above skin reactions compared with the ibuprofen medicated plaster (5 vs. 1, respectively). CONCLUSION: The ibuprofen medicated plaster was well tolerated and was associated with lower irritancy than the placebo plaster.

Original publication




Journal article


Postgrad Med

Publication Date





19 - 23


Ibuprofen, NSAIDs, cutaneous reaction, irritancy, patch, plaster, Administration, Cutaneous, Adult, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, Calcium Sulfate, Double-Blind Method, Drug Delivery Systems, Erythema, Female, Humans, Ibuprofen, Male, Middle Aged, Skin Irritancy Tests, Young Adult