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Acute Ibuprofen Intoxication: Report on a Case and Review of the Literature

Lodise, Maria MD*; De-Giorgio, Fabio MD, PhD*; Rossi, Riccardo MD*; d’Aloja, Ernesto MD, PhD; Fucci, Nadia PhD*

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: September 2012 - Volume 33 - Issue 3 - p 242–246
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e318253d6ff
Case Reports

A fatality following the ingestion of ibuprofen is reported. Ibuprofen is a prototypical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug widely prescribed as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic agent. To date, there are few case reports of fatal overdose with ibuprofen, following ibuprofen self-poisoning or accidental overdose. We report the case of a 51-year-old man with medical history of psychiatric disease, who was brought to the emergency department by ambulance with a chief complaint of having taken large amounts of drugs in a suicide attempt.

Multiple empty containers of medications (ibuprofen, meloxicam, celecoxib, risperidone, citalopram, ketorolac, bromazepam) were found at the scene. He died 4 hours after admission to the emergency department, despite vigorous supportive care. Toxicological analyses were performed using a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry technique. The estimated ibuprofen concentration in the plasma was 600 μg/mL; gastric content was 200 μg/mL for this compound. Our report describes results of the forensic investigation and discuss the review of the literature.

From the *Institute of Legal Medicine, School of Medicine, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome; and †Forensic Science Department, Cagliari University, Monserrato (CA), Italy.

Manuscript received November 16, 2009; accepted March 27, 2010.

This study has been supported by Fondi di Ateneo, Linea D1, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Fabio De-Giorgio, MD, Institute of Legal Medicine, Catholic University, School of Medicine, L.go F. Vito 1, 00163 Rome. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.