Ibuprofen is a commonly used non-steroidal inflammatory (NSAID) medication for pain relief and inflammation, and it can be found in both OTC and prescription-strength medications such as Advil and Motrin. Ibuprofen comes in a variety of dosage forms, including tablets, capsules, and liquids. In some cases, patients may require a different dosage form, such as an oral suspension. An oral suspension is typically used for patients who have difficulty swallowing pills, such as children or the elderly. It can also be used for patients who need a dose that is not available in tablet or capsule form. Compounding pharmacists are experts in developing customized medications, such as oral suspensions, to meet the specific needs of patients.

Unfortunately, there has been an ongoing shortage of ibuprofen oral suspensions for several years. A variety of factors, including manufacturing issues, increased demand, and supply chain disruptions, have contributed to the shortage. The recent surge in the prevalence of the three most common viruses, namely COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and influenza, has created an impact on hospitals and healthcare centers that use ibuprofen oral suspensions as a common treatment for pain and fever among pediatric patients.

To address this shortage, the FDA has issued guidance to assist in increasing the supply of ibuprofen oral suspension products in hospitals and healthcare facilities. The recommendations in the guidance are for drug manufacturers and compounding pharmacists to help increase the supply of ibuprofen oral suspension products. It is recommended that drug manufacturers increase production of ibuprofen oral suspension products and prioritize distribution to hospitals and healthcare facilities.

To help alleviate the shortage, the FDA has temporarily permitted the importation of ibuprofen oral suspension products from certain countries. The revised version of the guidance applies to facilities that provide specific ibuprofen oral suspension products to state-licensed pharmacies (including those located within hospitals and health systems) and relevant federal facilities. The goal is to allow patients to receive these products for personal use at home if they have a valid, individualized prescription from a healthcare provider.

This medication is frequently used in pediatric patients to treat pain and fever. Tablets and capsules may not be tolerated by children, leaving oral suspension as the only viable option. To help meet the demand for this medication, compounding pharmacists are encouraged to consider compounding ibuprofen oral suspensions. They can assist to ensure that patients have access to the medications they require by collaborating with drug manufacturers. Hospitals and healthcare facilities can ensure that they have the medication on hand when needed by increasing the supply of ibuprofen oral suspension products.

The recent FDA guidance to increase the supply of ibuprofen oral suspension products in hospitals and healthcare facilities is a critical step toward addressing the medication shortage. Ibuprofen is a commonly used pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medication, and oral suspensions are available.

The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Reliance on any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk.

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