General PrecautionsUndesirable effects may be minimised by using the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration necessary to control symptoms (see section 4.2, Posology and method of administration, and GI and cardiovascular risks below). Patients treated with NSAIDs long-term should undergo regular medical supervision to monitor for adverse events.Caution is required if Brufen is administered to patients suffering from, or with a previous history of, bronchial asthma since ibuprofen has been reported to cause bronchospasm in such patients. Caution is required in patients with renal, hepatic or cardiac impairment since the use of NSAIDs may result in deterioration of renal function. The dose should be kept as low as possible and assessment of renal function should occur prior to the initiation of therapy and regularly thereafter.Caution is required in patients with a history of heart failure and/or hypertension as fluid retention and oedema has been reported in association with NSAID therapy.The use of ibuprofen may impair female fertility and is not recommended in women attempting to conceive. In women who have difficulties conceiving or who are undergoing investigation of infertility, withdrawal of ibuprofen should be considered.Elderly: the elderly have an increased frequency of adverse reactions to NSAIDs especially gastrointestinal bleeding and perforation which may be fatal (see section 4.2, Posology and method of administration).Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medication.As with other NSAIDs, ibuprofen may mask the signs of infection.The use of Brufen with concomitant NSAIDs including cyclooxygenase-2 selective inhibitors should be avoided due to the potential for additive effects.Gastrointestinal bleeding, ulceration and perforation: GI bleeding, ulceration or perforation, which can be fatal, has been reported with all NSAIDs at anytime during treatment, with or without warning symptoms or a previous history of serious GI events. The risk of GI bleeding, ulceration or perforation is higher with increasing NSAID doses, in patients with a history of ulcer, particularly if complicated with haemorrhage or perforation (See section 4.3, Contraindications), and in the elderly. These patients should commence treatment on the lowest dose available. Combination therapy with protective agents (e.g. misoprostol or proton pump inhibitors) should be considered for these patients, and also for patients requiring concomitant low dose aspirin, or other drugs likely to increase gastrointestinal risk (See below and section 4.5, Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction). The concomitant administration of Brufen and other NSAIDs, including cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) selective inhibitors, should be avoided due to the increased risk of ulceration or bleeding (See below and section 4.5, Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction).Patients with a history of GI disease, particularly when elderly, should report any unusual abdominal symptoms (especially GI bleeding) particularly in the initial stages of treatment. Caution should be advised in patients receiving concomitant medications which could increase the risk of ulceration or bleeding, such as oral corticosteroids, anticoagulants such as warfarin, selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors or anti-platelet agents such as aspirin (See below and section 4.5, Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction). When GI bleeding or ulceration occurs in patients receiving Brufen, the treatment should be withdrawn. NSAIDs should be given with care to patients with a history of gastrointestinal disease (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease) as their condition may be exacerbated (See section 4.8 undesirable effects).
Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular effectsAppropriate monitoring and advice are required for patients with a history of hypertension and/or mild to moderate congestive heart failure as fluid retention and oedema have been reported in association with NSAID therapy.Clinical trial data suggest that use of ibuprofen, particularly at a high dose (2400 mg/ daily) and in long term treatment may be associated with a small increased risk of arterial thrombotic events (for example myocardial infarction or stroke). Overall, epidemiological studies do not suggest that low dose ibuprofen (e.g. ≤ 1200mg daily) is associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction.Patients with uncontrolled hypertension, congestive heart failure, established ischaemic heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, and/or cerebrovascular disease should only be treated with ibuprofen after careful consideration. Similar consideration should be made before initiating longer-term treatment of patients with risk factors for cardiovascular events (e.g. hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes mellitus, smoking).
Renal EffectsCaution should be used when initiating treatment with Brufen in patients with considerable dehydration. As with other NSAIDs, long-term administration of Brufen has resulted in renal papillary necrosis and other renal pathological changes. Renal toxicity has also been seen in patients in whom renal prostaglandins have a compensatory role in the maintenance of renal perfusion. In these patients, administration of an NSAID may cause a dose-dependant reduction in prostaglandins formation and, secondarily, in renal blood flow, which may precipitate overt renal decompensation. Patients at greatest risk of this reaction are those with impaired renal function, heart failure, liver dysfunction, those who are taking diuretics and ACE inhibitors and the elderly. Discontinuation of NSAID drug therapy is usually followed by recovery to the pre-treatment state.
Haematological EffectsAs NSAIDs can interfere with platelet function and may prolong bleeding time, Brufen should be used with caution in patients with intracranial haemorrhage and bleeding diathesis.
Dermatological EffectsSerious skin reactions, some of them fatal, including exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis, have been reported very rarely in association with the use of NSAIDs (see 4.8, Undesirable effects). Patients appear to be at highest risk of these reactions early in the course of therapy, the onset of the reaction occurring in the majority of cases within the first month of treatment. Brufen should be discontinued at the first appearance of skin rash, mucosal lesions, or any other sign of hypersensitivity.
Aseptic MeningitisAseptic meningitis has been observed on rare occasions in patients with Brufen therapy. Although it is probably more likely to occur in patients with systematic lupus erythematosus and related connective tissue diseases, it has been reported in patients who do not have an underlying chronic disease.