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Patent ductus arteriosus closure: why same-dose oral ibuprofen is superior to intravenous
  1. Thomas Bo Jensen1,
  2. Jens Peter Kampmann1,
  3. Jon Trærup Andersen1,2
  1. 1 Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Copenhagen University Hospital Bispebjerg, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. 2 Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Thomas Bo Jensen, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Copenhagen University Hospital Bispebjerg, Copenhagen NV 2400, Denmark; Thomas.Bo.Jensen{at}

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Ibuprofen is used in neonates to treat patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Several randomised controlled trials have compared oral ibuprofen to intravenous for closing of PDA. Surprisingly, oral administration seems more effective than same dose intravenously. This is unusual from a pharmacological perspective. In general, it is unlikely that the systemic effect of a drug will be better from oral administration than the same dose administered intravenously.

A Cochrane meta-analysis including five studies in the comparison of oral versus intravenous ibuprofen found that oral administration of ibuprofen was more effective in PDA closure (risk ratio favouring oral ibuprofen 0.38 (95% CI 0.26 to 0.56)). Need for surgical closure of the ductus had similar effect size but was insignificant (risk ratio 0.41, 95% CI 0.14 to 1.21), …

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  • Contributors TBJ, JPK and JTA contributed to all steps in the making of this letter.

  • Funding This study was funded by an unrestricted grant from P. Carl Petersens Fond (foundation) and grant no: 18071.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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