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Ibruprofen Gel and IBS Query

(17 Posts)
GeeKay Thu 14-Sep-23 10:51:58

As a result of a knee injury, my doctor proscribed me some ibruprofen gel to reduce the inflammation. I do have IBS, however, and as such will this gel - which is externally applied to my right knee - (somehow) adversely affect my stomach bacteria in any way?

Regards, GeeKay.

PS. I understand that this gel can penetrate body tissue to a depth of 6 cm.

ExDancer Thu 14-Sep-23 10:53:38

No, impossible.

Baggs Thu 14-Sep-23 10:57:33

I think you will only find that out by using the gel. Perhaps start with a small amount.

crazyH Thu 14-Sep-23 10:58:58

I don’t know about Ibuprofen Gel, but I take Ibuprofen Tablets, without any problems. I have had IBS in the past (during my stressful divorce), but the ibuprofen tabs have not triggered it. Your Doctor is obviously aware of your medical history, and would not have prescribed it. I doubt a topical Gel would enter the digestive system. Others will know better. Good luck - IBS is awful, I can empathise ..

Baggs Thu 14-Sep-23 10:59:30

My previous comment was based on info from Boots patient information leaflet. See screenshots.

Caravansera Thu 14-Sep-23 11:13:40

From netdoctor:

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.

I avoid oral ibuprofen as I have IBD (not IBS). A knee surgeon advised me against it for post-operative inflammation.

I find paracetamol combined with topical OTC Deep Freeze works well for temporary joint problems and back pain.

GeeKay Tue 19-Sep-23 11:07:55

Thanks for the helpful comments. The good news (which may encourage those in a similar position to mine) is that the ibuprofen gel version is now working fine for me, with no IBS symptoms whatsoever.

PS. Sorry about not responding sooner, but for some odd reason any comments I receive from a post I place on Gransnet never reach my email inbox. I have to rely on memory instead, which is a finite resource for me these days. . . alas.

Callistemon21 Tue 19-Sep-23 11:12:39

I'm glad the ibuprofen gel is working well for you GeeKay, with no side effects.

Personally I've never found it works on me but the GP will not prescribe anti-inflammatory tablets, eg Naproxen, any more.

If you click on I'm On when you log in, you'll find the threads you started or posted on.

GeeKay Sun 24-Sep-23 11:11:00

Thanks for the "I'm on" tip regarding log-in, Callistemon21. I'll try it if or when the next time I start a thread.

Katie59 Sun 24-Sep-23 11:50:09

The downside of Ibuprofen Gel on a knee is trousers or tights, it makes them stick and is horrible, otherwise it works quite well.
Wont affect stomach.

Callistemon21 Sun 24-Sep-23 22:32:26


The downside of Ibuprofen Gel on a knee is trousers or tights, it makes them stick and is horrible, otherwise it works quite well.
Wont affect stomach.

You just have to keep rubbing it in ..... and rubbing ...

pinkquartz Sun 24-Sep-23 22:42:52

I use the gel every night on my knees and right shoulder and I definitely get some pain relief. No stomach issues from the gel.

I use 10% strength as 5 % didn't touch the pain.

MayBee70 Sun 24-Sep-23 22:45:52

I used to put it on the front of my knee and then realised I was supposed to put it on the back. It does tend to dry my skin out.

Callistemon21 Sun 24-Sep-23 22:54:10

I prefer voltarol gel.

MayBee70 Sun 24-Sep-23 23:02:37

Me too. I can’t be without Voltarol! I jarred my bad knee the other day and have been putting Voltarol on it each night. Oh for the days when I used to get huge tubes of it from my GP! Mind you, I wouldn’t be without my bag of frozen peas, either.

Callistemon21 Sun 24-Sep-23 23:04:53

Yes, it's expensive! But a tube goes quite a long way.

MayBee70 Sun 24-Sep-23 23:55:08

The last 5% of a tube goes much much further than the previous 95% I find.