Understanding how Nurofen works

Ibuprofen, the active ingredient in Nurofen, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), sometimes called an anti-inflammatory. It helps relieve pain by blocking chemicals called prostaglandins, which are involved in inflammation and pain signalling throughout the body. Another commonly used over-the-counter pain reliever is paracetamol, which acts mainly in the central nervous system (the brain).

Why blocking prostaglandins helps relieve pain and inflammation

Prostaglandins are natural chemicals that can be released into your body when you are injured or sick. When prostaglandins are released, they make nearby nerves very sensitive to pain – which helps your body realise that something is wrong. Prostaglandins also make tissues inflamed and swollen. They are one of the reasons why you get a sore throat when you are sick, and also one reason why a sprained ankle becomes swollen.

Ibuprofen blocks the production of prostaglandins. It’s what makes Nurofen effective at relieving pain and inflammation in the body. Because of this mode of action, these types of pain relievers can be said to provide pain relief at the site of pain.