Published on November 24th, 20130
Paracetamol better at treating colds and sore throats as Ibuprofen
A new study by experts at the University of Southampton has shown that, unlike paracetamol, ibuprofen or a combination of ibuprofen and paracetamol have no benefit on patients experiencing respiratory tract infections (otherwise known as colds or sore throats).
In addition, steam inhalations, which is also a common method of treating a respiratory tract infection, did not have any clear effect on the patient. In addition, 2% of patients were slightly scalded while trying this treatment.
“The most commonly used remedies for treatment for respiratory tract infections are paracetamol, ibuprofen or a combination of both. Perhaps doctors should advise patients to use steam inhalation daily, given that this practice benefits symptomatic respiratory tract infections. In addition, some patients may get hurt. Similarly, routinely advising ibuprofen or ibuprofen and paracetamol together than just paracetamol is also not likely to be effective. However our research has shown that ibuprofen is likely to help children, and those with chest infections“, said Professor Paul Little, coordinator of the study.
The research also indicated that patients were more likely to return within a month with stronger symptoms or new symptoms if they were treated with ibuprofen or a combination of ibuprofen and paracetamol. Specifically, between 50 % and 70 % of study participants who were prescribed ibuprofen or paracetamol and ibuprofen combination returned to the doctor with more pronounced symptoms.
Professor Little admitted that the results were surprising, they suggest that treatment might contribute to disease development. “This may have something to do with the fact the ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory. It is possible that the drug is interfering with an important part of the immune response and leads to prolonged symptoms or the progression of symptoms in some individuals. Although we have to be a bit cautious since these were surprise findings, for the moment I would personally not advise most patients to use ibuprofen for symptom control for coughs colds and sore throat”, said Little.
The study was conducted on 899 patients who presented symptoms of respiratory tract infections.
Spurce: Southampton University