Besides its over-the-counter use as an oral anti-inflammatory med, ibuprofen has been shown to improve lung function at high doses in patients with cystic fibrosis. And to facilitate the kind of dosing that would make the drug effective, researchers at Texas A&M are developing an inhaled version of ibuprofen using nanoparticles.
Oral ibuprofen at high doses can induce gastrointestinal bleeding and kidney complications when combined with the antibiotics that cystic fibrosis patients also need. So to direct the drug into the lungs is the logical step to making it a more effective treatment for the debilitating disease. Cystic fibrosis causes fluid to accumulate in the lungs due to a genetic disorder, and most people with the disease die by the time they are in their 50s due to lung infections.
The repurposed drug would be administered in aerosol form along with antibiotics. The researchers found that, at the doses enabled by the inhaled delivery method, the drug has antimicrobial properties.
“We determined that not only does ibuprofen act as an antimicrobial itself, it is also synergistic with the antibiotics we already give to these patients,” Cannon said. “Together, they kill the pathogens much better than either one does alone and we could get the same great effects of the high concentrations of ibuprofen without the side effects.”
- here's the Texas A&M release
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