Ibuprofen belongs to a class of drugs known as “nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs” (NSAIDs) that are used to treat arthritis, fever and pain and also to reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
They work by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain.
There has been some concern over their use following a study by the University of California which found that daily use of ibuprofen over a five year period was associated with a 51% increase in the risk of breast cancer. While another study found the opposite that two or more of the tablets over a week for ten years reduced the risk by 28%.
The manufacturers, Crookes Healthcare, has said that the use of low-dose ibuprofen is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer.
In the UK the Royal College of General Practitioners has advised patients that although the evidence should not be ignored that the use of such drugs had helped patients with the prevention of heart disease and a reduction in other symptoms.