Ibuprofen: question of dose and price?

“We have ibuprofenizado to the Spanish society”, admitted the doctor Jose Luis Llisterri , president of the Spanish Society of Doctors of AP, after knowing the warning of cardiovascular risk associated to the consumption of high doses of ibuprofeno (equal or greater to 2,400 mg / day ) and dexibuprofen issued by the Spanish Agency of medicines and health products (AEMPS), on April 13.

Professionals have quickly warned of the risks of self-medication or of dispensing over-the-counter 600 mg ibuprofen. Let’s open here again a parenthesis to insist: always with a recipe! Do not give, please, no excuse.

Having said that, one has the feeling that everyone takes their hands to their heads when there are alerts of this type that affect mass-consumption drugs, as is the case. It’s like remembering Santa Barbara only when it thunders.


Reviewing the sales figures, ibuprofen appears as the sixth most consumed active ingredient in the Spanish medicine cabinet. Between August 2013 and July 2014, only in the National Health System were prescribed 17.9 million containers of this drug, worth 48.2 million euros, not counting the containers that were bought without a prescription and that they can double that value. Health authorities would do well to control the use of other blockbusters, such as omeprazole, paracetamol, simvastatin, acetylsalicylic acid or atorvastatin, the top five in the number of containers .

All these medicines have a common denominator, which is their low price. They are low prices that place your treatment cost day between 0.1 and 0.2 euros. It may well be happening, and it is convenient to analyze it thoroughly, that with these prices we are banalizing the use of these drugs in the eyes of some professionals and also of citizens. It is already known that what does not cost, is not valued and ends up being used imprudently and unduly.

It is what may be happening with these medications that, let us not forget, have their interactions and that in high doses, as has happened with ibuprofen , may be associated with an increased risk of arterial thrombosis.

Professionals are responsible for influencing the education of citizens in this area and improving their training, but the authorities should know that they can not continue to sink prices at the risk of a large part of the population confusing the pills with innocuous colored jellybeans. anyone can be prescribed.