Ibugel and Ibugel forte are both gels that contain the active ingredient ibuprofen, which is a type of medicine called a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Ibuprofen is a simple painkilling medicine used to relieve mild to moderate pain and inflammation. (NB. Ibugel forte contains a stronger concentration of ibuprofen than Ibugel and so is only available on prescription.)
Ibuprofen works by blocking the action of a substance in the body called cyclo-oxygenase (COX). Cyclo-oxygenase is involved in the production of various chemicals in the body, some of which are known as prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are produced in response to injury and certain diseases and conditions, and cause pain, swelling and inflammation. Ibuprofen blocks the production of these prostaglandins and is therefore effective at reducing inflammation and pain.
When ibuprofen is applied to the skin (topical application) it is absorbed through the skin into the underlying tissues, where it reduces pain and inflammation in the local area. Ibugel and Ibugel forte are aqueous/alcoholic gels, which also have an immediate cooling and soothing effect when applied to the affected area.
Ibugel can be used to relieve the pain of muscular and joint conditions such as sprains, strains, backache, rheumatism and minor arthritic conditions. It should be massaged gently into the affected area.
Ibuprofen is absorbed less into the bloodstream from preparations that are applied to the skin than from preparations that are taken by mouth (see end of factsheet), however absorption can still occur, particularly if large amounts are used on large areas.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug's manufacturer.For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
When it is used on unbroken skin this medicine is unlikely to be absorbed in sufficient amounts to affect other medicines that are being taken by mouth. However, if it is used with aspirin or other NSAIDs, eg ibuprofen taken by mouth, there may be an increased chance of side effects.
For more information about the interactions of ibuprofen taken by mouth see the factsheets linked below.
Other brands of ibuprofen that are applied to the skin:
|Cuprofen gel||Fenbid gel||Ibuleve|
|Ibumousse||Ibuspray||Mentholatum ibuprofen gel|
|Nurofen gel||Phorpain gel||Proflex cream|
|Radian B ibuprofen gel/massage stick|
Brands of ibuprofen that are taken by mouth:
|Anadin ibuprofen||Anadin ultra||Arthrofen|
|Cuprofen for children||Fenbid spansules||Fenpaed|
|Nurofen for children||Orbifen for children|
Ibuprofen tablets, capsules, caplets and suspensions are also widely available without brand names, ie as the generic medicine.
The quantity and strength of ibuprofen supplied in the container or packet will determine whether it is only available on prescription, or can be bought from pharmacies only, or from other retail outlets such as supermarkets and garages.