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Emergency care
Ibuprofen for acute pain relief in the emergency department
  1. Dylan Collins
  1. Faculty of Medicine, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Dylan Collins, Faculty of Medicine, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada; dylan.collins{at}

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In the emergency department there has been uncertainty over the analgesic ceiling for ibuprofen in the treatment of mild to moderate acute pain. A recent randomised trial addressed the minimally effective dose used to optimise pain management. Clinicians may reduce the rate of adverse events by using the minimally effective dose both in the emergency department and for discharge prescriptions.

The management of acute pain is fundamental to the practice of emergency medicine. In 2016, in the USA, there were more than 145 million emergency department visits with acute pain syndromes being the most common presentation.1

Ibuprofen is a common, available, inexpensive non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and as such, it is non-addictive with analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory effects. It is available in both parenteral and enteral routes, making it a versatile option for pain management. While higher doses are required for its anti-inflammatory effect, dental and oral surgery literature …

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  • Contributors DC is the sole author.

  • Funding The author has not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.