For the topical treatment of backache, rheumatic and muscular pain, sprains, strains and neuralgia. Ibugel is also indicated for symptomatic relief of pain due to non-serious arthritic conditions.
What is Ibugel used for?
Ibugel is applied to the skin to relieve pain and inflammation in a targeted area, for example associated with:
- Muscle or rheumatic pain.
- Sprains, strains and sports injuries.
- Pain from non-serious arthritic conditions.
- Severe throbbing or stabbing pain along a nerve and in the area supplied by the nerve (neuralgia).
How does Ibugel work?
- Ibugel and Ibugel forte contain the active ingredient ibuprofen, which is a type of medicine called a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
- Ibuprofen works by blocking the action of an enzyme in the body called cyclo-oxygenase (COX). In certain arthritic and rheumatic conditions, or if you have an injury, COX makes substances called prostaglandins. These cause pain, swelling and inflammation. When you apply ibuprofen to the skin, it stops the production of prostaglandins in the underlying tissues. This reduces inflammation and pain in the local area.
- Ibuprofen is absorbed into the bloodstream less when you apply it to the skin than when you take it by mouth, which means gels and sprays are less likely to cause side effects than products you take by mouth. However, absorption can still occur, particularly if you use large amounts on large areas of skin.
How do I use Ibugel?
- Ibugel can be used up to three times a day, or as directed by a doctor. Leave at least four hours between applications.
- Follow the instructions in the leaflet regarding how much to use. Apply the gel to the skin over the painful area and massage it in gently.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after applying Ibugel, unless you are treating the hands.
- Get medical advice from your doctor or pharmacist if your symptoms persist or get worse despite treatment.
- Don't use Ibugel for longer than a few weeks unless otherwise advised by your doctor.
What should I know before using Ibugel?
- Don't apply Ibugel to broken, damaged, infected or diseased areas of skin.
- Take care to avoid getting the gel in the eyes, mouth or nose. Rinse with cold water if you accidentally get it in these areas.
- Don't cover the area being treated with airtight or waterproof dressings, as these will increase the absorption of ibuprofen into the body and may increase the risk of side effects.
- It's best to protect the areas of skin you have treated from bright sunlight, because Ibugel might make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
- If you experience any side effects from this medicine, in particular a rash, stop using it and seek medical advice.
Who shouldn't use Ibugel?
- People who have ever had an allergic reaction, for example an asthma attack, itchy rash (urticaria), swelling of the face, tongue or throat, or nasal inflammation (rhinitis), after taking aspirin, ibuprofen or other related painkillers (NSAIDs).
- People who are allergic to any ingredient of the product.
- Who should get medical advice before using Ibugel?
- People with an active peptic ulcer.
- People who suffer from asthma.
- People with a history of kidney problems.
- People with an intolerance to aspirin, ibuprofen or other related painkillers (NSAIDs) taken by mouth.
- People who are already taking aspirin, ibuprofen or related painkillers by mouth.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding (see below).
- Ibugel is not recommended for children under 12 years of age unless instructed by a doctor.
Can I use Ibugel while pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Ibugel should not be used during pregnancy unless considered essential by your doctor, as sufficient may be absorbed through the skin to affect the baby. When used in the third trimester ibuprofen may delay labour, increase the length of labour and cause complications in the newborn baby. Get medical advice from your doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant.
- Ibuprofen taken by mouth passes into breast milk in such small quantities that it is unlikely to harm the baby. This means applying ibuprofen to the skin is also unlikely to be harmful. However, as with all medicines, get medical advice from your doctor before using this medicine if you are breastfeeding.
What are the possible side effects of Ibugel?
Using Ibugel on your skin may occasionally cause a skin rash, itching or irritation at the application site. If you find Ibugel irritates your skin, stop using it and ask your pharmacist for advice.
The following side effects are also possible with ibuprofen, but are extremely unlikely when using it on the skin.
- Digestive problems such as abdominal pain or indigestion, particularly in people with a history of stomach ulcers.
- Kidney problems.
- Allergic reactions such as asthma attacks, narrowing of the airways (bronchospasm), swelling of the lips, throat and tongue (angioedema), itchy blistering rash or anaphylactic shock. Stop using Ibuleve and get immediate medical advice if you have an allergic reaction.
Read the leaflet in the packet or talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you want any more information about the possible side effects of Ibugel.
Can I use Ibugel with other medicines?
- If you are already taking aspirin or other related painkillers (NSAIDs) by mouth, eg ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen, there may be an increased risk of getting side effects if you use Ibugel as well. Check with your pharmacist before using this medicine if you are already taking an anti-inflammatory painkiller.
When used on unbroken skin Ibugel is unlikely to be absorbed in sufficient amounts to affect other medicines that you are taking by mouth.