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BACKGROUND: Ibuprofen is used for the treatment of non-serious pain. This study assessed the efficacy and safety of a new ibuprofen plaster for the treatment of pain associated with acute sports impact injuries/contusions. METHODS: In this randomised, double-blind, multi-centre, placebo controlled, parallel group study, adults (n = 130; 18-58 years of age) diagnosed with acute sports-related blunt soft tissue injury/contusion were randomized to receive either ibuprofen 200 mg plaster or placebo plaster. Plasters were administered once daily for five consecutive days. The primary assessment was area under the visual analogue scale (VAS) of pain on movement (POM) over 0 to three days (VAS AUC0-3d). Other endpoints included algometry AUC from 0 to three days (AUC0-3d) and 0 to five days (AUC0-5d), to evaluate improvement of sensitivity at the injured site, and patient and investigator global assessment of efficacy. Safety was monitored throughout the study. RESULTS: The ibuprofen plaster resulted in superior reduction in AUC0-3d compared with placebo; the Least Squares (LS) mean difference was 662.82 mm*h in favour of the ibuprofen 200mg plaster (P = 0.0011). The greater improvement in VAS AUC of POM was also observed after 12 h, 24 h, and five days of therapy. Tenderness also significantly improved with the ibuprofen plaster compared with placebo; LS mean difference in algometry/tenderness AUC0-3d was 1.87 N/cm2*d and AUC0-5d was 1.87 N/cm2*d (P values ≤0.0004). At all study timepoints, a greater percentage of patients and investigators rated the effectiveness of the ibuprofen 200 mg plaster as good/excellent than the placebo plaster. Treatment-emergent adverse events for the ibuprofen plaster were few (≤1.5%) and were mild in severity. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicate 200 mg plaster is effective and safe for the treatment of pain due to acute sports-related traumatic blunt soft tissue injury/contusion in adults.

Original publication




Journal article


Postgrad Med

Publication Date





24 - 31


Ibuprofen, convenience, efficacy, pain, plaster, safety, tenderness, Administration, Cutaneous, Adolescent, Adult, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, Athletic Injuries, Calcium Sulfate, Double-Blind Method, Drug Delivery Systems, Female, Humans, Ibuprofen, Male, Middle Aged, Pain, Pain Measurement, Soft Tissue Injuries, Treatment Outcome, Wounds, Nonpenetrating, Young Adult