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Int J Clin Pract. 2002 Dec;56(10):732-4.

Tolerability of ibuprofen, aspirin and paracetamol for the treatment of cold and flu symptoms and sore throat pain.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University Victor Segalen, Bordeaux, France.


This double-blind randomised study compared the tolerability of ibuprofen (up to 1.2 g daily), aspirin and paracetamol (both up to 3 g daily) for up to seven days, in patients with mild to moderate pain resulting from cold/flu symptoms or sore throat (CF/ST) (n = 2,815). The main outcome was the rate of significant adverse events (SGAE). Rates of SGAE for ibuprofen, aspirin and paracetamol were respectively 12.0%, 15.7% and 12.3%. Ibuprofen was significantly better tolerated than aspirin (p = 0.02) and had comparable tolerability with paracetamol. The latter was also true for total digestive system events and for abdominal pain and dyspepsia. In conclusion, in patients with CF/ST, ibuprofen used at over-the-counter doses is as well tolerated as paracetamol and much better tolerated than aspirin.

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