Clinically relevant pain relief with an ibuprofen-releasing foam dressing: results from a randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical trial in exuding, painful venous leg ulcers

Wound Repair Regen. Nov-Dec 2012;20(6):815-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-475X.2012.00844.x. Epub 2012 Oct 30.


The objective of this 6-week, 120-patient, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial was to investigate if a foam dressing with ibuprofen provided clinically relevant pain relief (PAR) for exuding, painful venous leg ulcers in comparison with a similar foam dressing without ibuprofen. Primary outcome parameter was PAR compared with baseline pain during the first 5 days of the investigation. PAR was registered by the patient morning and evening. Main end point was proportion of patients reporting a summed PAR score of at least 50% of the total maximum PAR (i.e., responders) and the corresponding number needed to treat (NNT). Wound-related parameters such as ulcer healing, ulcer area reduction, and peri-ulcer skin condition as well as adverse events were recorded during all 6 weeks of the investigation. PAR was significantly greater in the ibuprofen foam group than the comparator group (p = 0.0438). There were 34% responders in the ibuprofen foam group vs. 19% in the comparator group (NNT = 6.8). When evening data were analyzed separately to evaluate PAR over daytime, NNT was 5.3. Wound healing parameters and adverse events were comparable. In conclusion, in this study, the ibuprofen foam dressing provided clinically relevant PAR for patients with exuding, painful venous ulcers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Aged
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage*
  • Bandages
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Europe
  • Exudates and Transudates
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ibuprofen / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / pathology
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Varicose Ulcer / drug therapy*
  • Varicose Ulcer / pathology
  • Viscoelastic Substances
  • Wound Healing*


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Viscoelastic Substances
  • Ibuprofen